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Public Health Rep. 2004 May-Jun; 119(3): 286–302.
PMCID: PMC1497629

Enabling the nation's schools to help prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, and other serious health problems.


In the United States, more than 53 million young people attend nearly 120,000 schools, usually for 13 of their most formative years. Modern school health programs--if appropriately designed and implemented--could become one of the most efficient means the nation might employ to reduce the establishment of four main chronic disease risks: tobacco use, unhealthy eating patterns, inadequate physical activity, and obesity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its partners have developed four integrated strategies to help the nation's schools reduce these risks. Participating national, state, and local agencies (1) monitor critical health risks among students, and monitor school policies and programs to reduce those risks; (2) synthesize and apply research to identify, and to provide information about, effective school policies and programs; (3) enable state, large city, and national education and health agencies to jointly help local schools implement effective policies and programs; and (4) evaluate implemented policies and programs to iteratively assess and improve their effectiveness.

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Selected References

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