130 Michigan K-12 schools receive program to create healthy school environment

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One hundred thirty schools have been awarded a wellness-based program to encourage healthy habits among school children.

That’s due to a public-private initiative between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several other Michigan-based health and wellness organizations called “Building Healthy Communities.”

“The program’s ability to unite such diverse stakeholders in a focused effort to address childhood obesity through comprehensive healthy school transformations is remarkable,” Nate McCaughtry, director; Center for Health and Community Impact for Wayne State University said. “Our Center is thrilled to be part of celebrating the 10th anniversary and working alongside so many dedicated Michigan schools.”

In the past 10 years, the program has resulted in a 40 percent increase in fruit and vegetable consumption among six to 11-year-olds and a decrease of 19 minutes of screen time per day. Results also showed an additional 35 minutes of exercise were added per day.

One change to this year’s program is the initiative addressing mental health and wellbeing. Students will learn how to set positive goals, process emotions, show empathy for others and maintain healthy relationships.

Building Healthy Communities has been established by more than 900 Michigan schools and impacted more than 395,000 students.

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