Wellness Research


Local School Wellness Policies and Related News

One section of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 requires that all school districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program have local wellness policies by July 1, 2006. The School Nutrition Association (formerly ASFSA) has put together tools to help assist the school community in dealing with this new requirement.

Well Done! School Nutrition Professionals Put Wellness Policies to Work
This spring 2008 publication from the School Nutrition Association provides inspiration and practical ideas for all in the school community who are committed to fostering healthy eating habits in children. School nutrition professionals from districts of all sizes and all across the country share experiences relating to gaining support from principals, teachers, parents and students; establishing cafeteria-based nutrition education programs; finding products to meet new nutrition standards; developing staff wellness programs and making operational changes.

From Cupcakes to Carrots: Local Wellness Policies One Year Later (in Adobe Acrobat format)
This report released in September 2007 tracks implementation progress of wellness policy topics including nutrition education, physical activity and nutrition guidelines. Of the 97% of school districts that addressed nutrition standards for National School Lunch Program meals in their wellness policies, more than 92% state that they have completed implementation.

Policy Implementation Webinar
On March 29, 2007, dozens of your fellow school nutrition professionals logged on to participate in a webinar focused on LSWP implementation. Entitled “Your Local School Wellness Policy: Addressing the Challenges, Making it Work,” this online training was developed to identify the common barriers to implementation, provide practical information for overcoming these hurdles and answer the questions and concerns of the participants.  To view an archived version of the webinar, please click on the link above.

SNA Local Wellness Policy Guidelines (in Adobe Acrobat format)
The School Nutrition Association's Executive Board and Nutrition Committee have unanimously approved the Local Wellness Policy Guidelines. The Guidelines serve as a tool to use when creating local wellness policies for your school districts. 

Foundation for the Future: Analysis of Local Wellness Policies from the 100 Largest School Districts (in Adobe Acrobat format)
On October 10, 2006, SNA released a report summarizing the characteristics of the wellness policies approved by the 100 largest school districts by enrollment.

Foundation for the Future II: Analysis of Local Wellness Policies from 140 School Districts in 49 States (in Adobe Acrobat format)
The above report was followed by a second report released in December 2006 examining wellness policies approved by a wide variety of school districts in 49 states.  

Local Wellness Policies Frequently Asked Questions
Look here for responses to our most frequently asked questions.

Sample Wellness Policies
We are in the process of collecting and analyzing policies which will provide us with a national picture of local wellness policy development to help us better serve our members.  We ask that you submit your approved local wellness policy to us by fax at 703-739-3915 or email Alexis Steines.  These samples are for your consideration and may be used as a resource in the development or implementation of your local wellness policy.

Overview of the Local Wellness Policy Presentation
Use this PowerPoint presentation to bring yourself and other school administrators up to speed about what the law requires and what your district needs to do about it.

Several states have enacted competitive foods guidelines. In addition, several third party organizations also have compiled lists of nutritious snacks and beverages for à la carte lines and vending machines. Refer to the resources for more information about Local Wellness Policy Development and Implementation, Healthy School Environment, Nutrition Education, Fundraising in Schools, and Nutrition Guidelines." 

Local School Wellness Policy Webinar
On June 7, 2005, the School Nutrition Association hosted a Local School Wellness Policy Webinar.  This webinar was developed to provide more information about the requirements of the law and how to get started on developing a policy.  A quiz is available to be taken for 1 CEU.

Details of the Law

The new law says that, at a minimum, the local policies should include:

  • goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and nutrition guidelines selected by the local educational agency for all foods available on each school campus;
  • establish a plan for measuring implementation of the local wellness policy;
  • and involve parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators, and the public in the development of the school wellness policy.

The new law does not say what the details of the local policy should be, but does require that the policies be adopted by the first day of the 2006 school year. To meet this date, school districts should begin their process this year. That process must include forming the task force or working group described in the law to develop the local policy. The law requires that the group include a representative of the school food program. This offers a leadership opportunity for school food service professionals.
[View Complete Law (in Adobe Acrobat format)]

Related News

Date Title
9/5/07 SNA Report Shows Progress in Implementation of School Wellness Policies
9/5/07 Farm Fresh School Lunch
8/29/07 Recent Research focuses on Wellness and Food Safety
8/6/07 School Nutrition Association Finds Districts Increasing Healthy Options
7/26/07 SNF Announces New Bridges to Wellness Nutrition Education Lessons!
7/5/07 Parent Support Critical to Improving Children’s Eating Habits
7/3/07 New California School Nutrition Standards Go Into Effect
6/13/07 School Nutrition Standards Considered in State Legislatures
6/5/07 Implementing Wellness Policies: Product Availability and Cost
5/18/07 House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Local School Wellness Policies
4/25/07 SNA Responds to Institute of Medicine Recommended Voluntary Nutrition Standards
4/24/07 CDC Looking for Innovative Local Wellness Policies
4/13/07 School Nutrition Programs Move to Eliminate Trans Fat
4/4/07 SNA’s LSWP Implementation Webinar Provides Valuable Learning Opportunity
3/23/07 Local Wellness Policy Implementation: A Conversation with Directors
3/2/07 Children Add Weight When School Is Out
1/24/07 Implementing Local Wellness Policies: Winning Students Over
12/20/06 Wellness Policies Promote Healthy Choices
12/18/06 Local School Wellness Policies: Nutrition Standards for A La Carte and Vending


Second Report Examines Local School Wellness Policies in 49 States


CSPI Releases Beverage Vending Contracts Study


Local School Wellness Policies: Physical Education


Local School Wellness Policies: Classroom Rewards and Incentives


SNA Releases Analysis of School Wellness Policies


Local School Wellness Policies: Walking Their Way to Wellness


Local School Wellness Policies: Incorporating Staff Wellness


Nation’s Largest School Districts Developing Healthier School Environments


Local School Wellness Policies: Classroom Celebrations and Parties


Local School Wellness Policies: Addressing Fundraisers
3/15/06 Come Together
3/13/06 Schools and Parents Tackling Nutrition and Wellness Policies
11/29/05 Schools Achieve Wellness
8/1/05 Your Local School Wellness Policy: Well-Balanced? Well-Crafted? Well-Grounded? Well-Planned?
3/31/05 Tools and Training Introduced to Develop Healthy School Environments 

Questions about Local School Wellness Policies? Contact



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