Childhood Obesity

Group of Happy Children

Act 1220 of 2003 Comprehensive Evaluation Project

In 2004, the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to evaluate the process and impact of implementing a comprehensive state law, Arkansas Legislative Act 1220 of 2003, in public schools. Each year the COPH Act 1220 Evaluation Team surveys parents, adolescents, school principals, and district superintendents throughout the state, interviews a number of individuals to assess the progress of the Act 1220 implementation, and prepares an annual report summarizing the results of this policy evaluation.


Childhood Obesity Program Publications

School Cafeteria Nutrition Assessment (SCNA)

The SCNA provides training for two complementary measures: the Menu Assessment (SCNA – M) and the in-person Cafeteria Observation (SCNA – O) that are designed to assess school lunch offerings as part of the National School Lunch Program and those offered a la carte. The project is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Resources for Public Schools Making Changes to Nutrition and Physical Activity

Research shows that well nourished and physically active students show improved educational success. Over the last decade, a confluence of legislation at the state and federal levels was enacted to address the obesity epidemic, including Act 1220 of 2003, the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards – August 2005, and the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. The laws and policy changes were enacted with a common goal of creating a school environment that incorporates healthy eating and physical activity. Through a grant from the Blue and You Foundation, the College of Public Health prepared four resource pages to help school personnel and parents take action to address that goal. The resource pages address issues that schools face in making changes to nutrition and physical activity policies such as fundraising, rewards and parties, vending and a la carte foods, and physical activity.

Fundraising Ideas

Fundraisers are a great way for schools to show their commitment to healthy living while meeting financial needs. Fundraisers can build self-esteem, provide a service and promote school spirit. More Info..

Physical Activity Ideas

Teachers and parents can help children maintain a physically active lifestyle by providing encouragement and opportunities as well as being role models. Make learning fun by adding activity. Plan outings, events, and fundraisers that allow and encourage everyone to be active. Regular physical activity improves strength, builds lean muscle, and increases self esteem and capacity for learning. In addition to physical education classes, try some of these ideas. More Info..

Rewards and Parties Sheets

A time to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, or other special event is a time to try a new approach. Whether at home, school, community clubs, or events. Rewards for accomplishments, good behavior, and other positive actions are always appreciated. The recognition doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or be loaded with calories to be meaningful. Something as simple as a nod, a smile or a few words of praise can help build a child’s self-esteem. More Info..

Vended Snacks

Snacks sold in vending machines, at school stores and concession stands, and on the lunch a la carte line should provide healthy choices for students, staff, and parents. Keeping levels of sugar, total fat, and trans and saturated fat at low percentages as well as having limits on maximum package size ensure snacks are positive additions. More Info…


Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI)
Arkansas Coalition Obesity Prevention (ARCOP)
Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)
Arkansas General Assembly
Public Health, Welfare & Labor Committees House & Senate Education Committees House & Senate
Arkansas Legislation concerning public school BMI, nutrition and physical education/activity (2003-2011)

Alliance for a Healthier Generation – Healthy Schools Program
Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas
Child Health Advisory Committee (CHAC)
Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP)
State Board of Education – Child Nutrition Unit
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)


Jim Raczynski, Ph.D., FAHA, FSBM, Principal Investigator
Martha Phillips, Ph.D., MBA, MPH, Principal Investigator
Zoran Bursac, Ph.D., MPH, Biostatistics Assistant Professor
C. Heath Gauss, MS, Statistician
Sherri Morris, Research Assistant
Page Moore, Ph.D., Biostatistics Assistant Professor