Organizations Promoting Nutrition & Fitness in Schools


CANFit (California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program) is a statewide, non-profit organization whose mission is to engage communities and build their capacity to improve the nutrition and physical activity status of California´s low-income African American, American Indian, Latino, Asian American, and Pacific Islander youth 10-14 years old. CanFIT provides training and technical assistance to youth-serving organizations; develops, evaluates, and disseminates effective, culturally-appropriate nutrition and physical activity educational materials and social marketing programs; advocates for policies that enhance nutrition and physical activity; awards academic scholarships; and funds innovative community-based projects.

California Project LEAN

California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) (CPL) is a joint program of the California Department of Health Services and the Public Health Institute focusing on youth empowerment, policy and environmental change strategies, and community-based solutions. CPL works with state and local physical activity and nutrition leaders to conduct programs in communities throughout California. Through an infrastructure of ten regions, CPL implements local interventions that utilize the Spectrum of Prevention Model which describes six levels of prevention activities – from strengthening individual knowledge and skills to influencing policy.

Public Health Advocates

The Public Health Advocates (PHAdvocates) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that raises awareness about critical public health issues and mobilizes communities to promote the establishment of effective health policies. Since its inception in 1999, PHAdvocates has addressed the growing childhood obesity epidemic by working to establish policies that support children and families in making healthy eating and physical activity choices.

In fall 2005, PHAdvocates released a study on childhood obesity, presenting their findings by city, county, and Assembly district in order to provide policy makers and the general public with a clear picture of the extent to which this epidemic affects their communities. Study findings are available as a policy brief, full report, or as fact sheets.

Nutrition Policy Institute, U.C. Berkeley

With a focus on children and their families, the Nutrition Policy Institute at U.C. Berkeley provides leadership in finding evidence-based solutions to weight problems. The Institute’s website offers a comprehensive listing and links to dozens of organizations working in the field, as well as program models. In addition, the Institute’s website provides scientific data, reports, program materials, and a guide to funding resources.

Instant Recess

Instant Recess® is an evidence-based model designed to improve health & productivity by incorporating 10-minute physical activity breaks into the routine daily “conduct of business” — fighting the inactivity epidemic 10 minutes at a time. Instant Recess® can be done at work, at school, at church, in the library, at sporting or cultural events – anywhere people gather. The movements are simple enough for anyone to participate, and can be adapted to suit any culture or physical environment.

The Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments

The Strategic Alliance is a coalition of nutrition and physical activity advocates in California, working to shift the debate away from a primary focus on personal responsibility and individual choice to one that examines corporate and government practices and the role of the environment in shaping eating and activity behaviors. Children’s environments are one of the five areas for which they provide a comprehensive set of policy recommendations, planning tools and research papers, as well as links to examples of successful community-based programs.

Action for Healthy Kids

A public-private partnership of more than 50 national organizations and government agencies representing education, health, fitness and nutrition, Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is the only nonprofit organization formed specifically to address the epidemic of overweight, undernourished and sedentary youth by focusing on changes at school. Through its national network, AFHK works to improve nutrition and increase physical activity in schools. AFHK has three major goals: 1) improving children’s eating habits by increasing access to nutritious foods and beverages throughout the school campus and by integrating nutrition education into the curriculum; 2) increasing children’s physical activity by adding or maintaining physical education courses and recess, and promoting after-school and co-curricular programs; and 3) educating administrators, teachers, children and parents about how nutrition and physical activity impact children’s health and academic achievement.

The Center for School, Health and Education

The Center for School, Health and Education, at the American Public Health Association, advances school-based health care as a comprehensive strategy for preventing school dropout and improving graduation rates for K-12 students. One of the Center’s key issues is hunger and obesity, and their website provides useful links and information for health providers seeking to address these issues in the school environment.