National Recreation and Park Association
2018 Progress Report
Encourage 2,000 park and recreation sites to join the national effort to create healthier environments for children in out-of-school time programs. This includes encouraging sites nationwide to adopt established guidelines based on The National Afterschool Association Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity that address healthy eating, physical activity, and youth and parent education.
“Park and recreation agencies are leading the way to healthier communities across the country. As accessible and welcoming institutions located in nearly every community, parks and recreation play a critical role in addressing the childhood obesity epidemic and improving health outcomes. Since 2014, over 1,750 local park and recreation sites have implemented the Healthy Eating Physical Activity standards in their out-of-school time programs, impacting over 318,000 children annually with increased access to nutritious foods and increased opportunities for physical activity. In nearly five years, agencies have successfully changed their menus to offer healthier foods. Based on recent verification data, 89% of all sites are ensuring that there is a fruit and vegetable at every meal, 83% of sites serve only whole-grain rich products, and 95% of sites ensure that water is available to program participants. 96% of park and recreation sites have modified their program and activity schedules to make sure that kids are meeting the daily requirements for physical activity, ensuring that activity is moderate to vigorous and that it’s taking place outdoors. 87% of sites are limiting digital device time and 84% of sites are providing evidence-based nutrition education, leading to a 20% increase in healthy living knowledge and creating healthy eating and physical activity behavior changes. From increased fruit and vegetable consumption to families reporting that they are enjoying getting active and cooking healthy meals together, communities of all shapes and sizes are experiencing the benefits of local parks and recreation and their commitment to health.”