Nutrition Education in the K-12 Curriculum: The Role of National Standards - Workshop Summary


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With approximately one-third of America’s young people overweight or obese, the childhood obesity epidemic and related health consequences are urgent public health problems. Health problems once seen mostly in adults – such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension – are increasingly appearing in youth. The 2012 IOM report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, recommended making schools a focal point for obesity prevention. The development and implementation of K-12 nutrition curriculum benchmarks, guides, or standards would constitute a critical step in achieving this recommendation.

On March 11-12, 2013, the IOM held a workshop to discuss the merits and potential uses of a set of national nutrition education curriculum standards and learning objectives for elementary and secondary school children. Workshop participants identified current promising practices, considered the most important attributes of such standards, and suggested approaches to build acceptance and use among educators. This document summarizes the workshop.