From June 2 to July 28 2005 The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools attached a 3-question survey to news and grant alerts posted on its
Web site. The survey, “Childhood Overweight and School Health Services” was intended to find out what types of health services schools are provided to students and their families to combat the growing problem of childhood overweight. The following paragraphs summarize survey results.

Who responded to the survey?
706 individuals responded to the survey. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia were represented among the respondents. The sole state not represented was South Dakota. Guam and the Virgin Islands were each represented by one individual. More than half of the respondents (53%) were from the following ten states: California (62), Texas (51), New York (45), Pennsylvania (34), Illinois (32), New Jersey (32), Massachusetts (31), Tennessee (24), Florida (23), and Virginia (22).

Of the 704 respondents who reported their profession or employment position, 36 % (n=255) described themselves as school nurses and 16 % (n=111) as “other”, which included clinical administrators, health educators, and agency professionals. Additional professions represented in the survey included nurse practitioners (8%), school district officials (6%), other providers (6%), directors/administrators (6%), and physical education teachers (3%). (See Table 1)

Table 1. Survey Respondents Reporting Profession or Position

Answer

Number

Percentage

School nurse

255

36%

Other (clinical administrators, health educators, college professors, agency professionals, community members, etc.)

111

16%

Nurse practitioner

58

8%

School district officials

40

6%

Other providers

40

6%

Directors/administrators

40

6%

Health education teachers

36

5%

Health coordinators/administrators

31

4%

Physical education teachers

19

3%

Nutritionist

24

3%

Social worker

20

3%

Counselor

14

2%

Classroom teacher

16

2%

Total1

704

100%

1. Two respondents did not answer this question

Which health services are provided?
Respondents were asked to report the types of health services for overweight students and their families provided by teachers and school-based health professionals. This survey question allowed respondents to select more than one response. Each of the 706 respondents chose at least one response for this question; all together they reported a total of 2298 services.

Forty-seven percent (n=330) of the 706 respondents reported that student BMI is measured; 27% (n=188) reported BMI to the student’s family, and 9% (n=65) reported BMI to the student’s physician. Sixty-nine percent (n=487)) said that classroom education about healthy eating and physical activity is provided at their school. Forty-two percent (n=297) said they recommend to a family member that the child be seen by a health professional to assess his or her weigh status. Nearly forty percent said that they work with parents and family members to create healthy eating and more active environments for children. Fourteen percent selected the “other” category for this question. Included in the “other” category were health fairs and summer and after-school activities for students involving nutrition and physical education. The table below provides a complete list of the health services, number of responses and percentage of total responses the number represents.

Table 2. Types of Health Services Provided to Students and Their Families 2

School Health Services

Number

Percentage of respondents reporting service

Measure student BMI

330

47%

Report BMI to student’s family

188

27%

Report BMI to student’s physician

65

9%

Provide one-on-one guidance about health eating and physical activity

339

48%

Provide classroom education about health eating and physical activity

487

69%

Recommend to a family member that a child be seen by a health professional to assess his or her weight status.

297

42%

Work with providers and families to help overweight students or at-risk for overweight students become more active and adopt healthy eating habits

230

33%

Work with parents and other family members to create healthy eating and more active environments for children

260

37%

Other (health fairs, summer and after-school activities regarding nutrition and physical exercise)

102

14%

2 Each of the 706 respondents chose at least one response for this question. A total of 2298 services were reported.

Acknowledgement
The Center would like to thank those who participated in filling out this survey.