School Nutrition Policy Initiative

An Evidence-Based Practice


The School Nutrition Policy Initiative (SNPI) is a multicomponent program to prevent overweight and obesity among children in 4th through 6th grades. The program is implemented in schools where more than half of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, in order to combat disproportionately high rates of obesity among low-income children. The initiative trains teachers and other staff to integrate interactive nutrition education into regular subjects in the curriculum, and all food sold at school meets healthy food requirements. Students are offered incentives for eating healthy snacks, and SNPI involves families and local community groups in nutrition education activities. The program is funded through the Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Tracks program, a part of the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Education Program. SNPI policies are developed by The Food Trust, a nutrition advocacy organization.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the School Nutrition Policy Initiative is to prevent and reduce overweight and obesity among low-income children.

Results / Accomplishments

The School Nutrition Policy Initiative resulted in a 50% reduction in the incidence of overweight. Significantly fewer children in the intervention schools (7.5%) than the control schools (14.9%) became overweight after 2 years. The intervention also had positive effects on the overall prevalence of overweight, with a 10.3% decrease at intervention schools compared to a 25.9% increase in control schools. Teachers received an average of 10.4 hours of training, and provided an average of 48 hours of nutrition education during each school year.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
The Food Trust
One Penn Center
Suite 900
1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 575-0444
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Children's Health
Education / School Environment
The Food Trust
Date of publication
Apr 2008
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Philadelphia, PA
For more details
Target Audience

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