Multi-component school-based obesity prevention programs

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help promote healthy childhood environments. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • Involves educational, environmental, and behavioral activities and typically addresses both physical activity and nutrition before, during, and/or after school
  • Typically includes healthy living and nutrition education classes, enhanced physical education and increased physical activity opportunities, and school-wide promotion of healthy food options and food environment improvements
  • Capacity building and professional support for teachers and staff, along with family education and support

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps


Target population

All school-aged children

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Increased physical activity and improved dietary habits
  • Improved weight status when implemented with high intensity for long durations
  • More successful than single-component programs

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Fostering community and parent participation is critical to maintaining the multifaceted nature of such programs.
  • Trained staff members and teachers who model good health habits for their students are an important component of these programs.
  • Partnerships with childhood health and obesity non-profits, child nutritionists, community gardens, and farmers markets can increase longer term engagement.
  • Ensuring that program staff model good health habits strengthens program learnings.

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