Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren (HOPS)

An Evidence-Based Practice


The HOPS program is an obesity prevention program targeting low-income elementary school students aged 6-13. The HOPS program includes both nutrition and physical activity components.

Elementary school-provided breakfasts, lunches, and snacks were modified to include more high-fiber items, fewer high-glycemic items, and lower amounts of total, saturated, and trans fat. Students were taught about the importance of daily physical activity and good nutrition using USDA team nutrition materials. Fruit and vegetable gardens were developed at the elementary schools. Opportunities for increased physical activity were promoted within the classroom and during recess and other activities.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the HOPS program was to improve overall health status and academic achievement using replicable strategies.

Results / Accomplishments

Students in schools receiving the HOPS intervention who qualified for free or reduced price meals were compared to students in control schools who qualified for free or reduced price meals.

During the two school years the study was implemented, significantly more students who received the HOPS intervention stayed within the normal Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile than students from control schools (p=.02). Students who received the HOPS intervention also scored significantly higher on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test Math Section than students in control schools (p<.001).

This study provides evidence that school-based obesity prevention interventions can have positive effects on weight and academic performance among low income children.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Danielle Hollard
881 NE 72th Terrace
Miami, FL 33138
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Children's Health
Education / Student Performance K-12
Agatston Research Foundation
American Journal of Public Health
Date of publication
Apr 2010
Date of implementation
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Target Audience
Additional Audience

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