Read examples of obesity prevention initiatives and strategies for educators, health providers and policy makers of rural communities.
If you're interested in learning more about the importance of developing healthy habits in children, browse through a collection of articles and reports on healthy eating, screen time, sleep routines, and emotional wellness.
Physical Activity Handouts & Resources
Studies have shown that physical activity is linked to better concentration, reduced disruptive behaviors and higher test scores in reading, math, and writing.
- Active Start: A Statement of Physical Activity Guidelines for Children from Birth to Age 5. These guidelines are presented by developmental stage including infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. (Source: National Association for Sport and Physical Education)
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: Active Children and Adolescents
This document offers specific physical activity plans for children and adolescents, ages 6-17. (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008)
Screen Time Handouts & Resources
Here's a collection of studies on the effects of video games on children.
- LimiTV: learn about the hazards of excessive TV watching and get ideas for alternative activities.
- Media Awareness Network: find out how to help increase your child’s media literacy.
- MediaWise: includes reviews and ratings on almost every video game and movie on the market.
- Over the Rainbow: an online magazine dedicated to media literacy for the whole family.
- Parents Television Council: educates on issues such as sex, violence, and profanity.
- Parents’ Choice: provides reliable, unbiased information about children’s media and toys.
Studies on the Effects of Video Games on Children
- Violent Video Games - Psychologists Help Protect Children from Harmful Effects (Source: American Psychological Association, 2004)
- The Effects of Computer-Based Video Games on Children: An Experimental Study (Source: Chuang, T.-Y., & Chen, W.-F, Educational Technology & Society, 2009)
- The Effects of Prosocial Video Games on Prosocial Behaviors: International Evidence From Correlational, Longitudinal, and Experimental Studies (Source: Gentile, D., National Institute on Media and the Family, 2009)
Sleep Routines Handouts & Resources
Learn more about the importance of children and sleep and how it affects abilities to learn and stay healthy.
Never Enough Sleep: A Brief History of Sleep Recommendations for Children PEDIATRICS (2012)
This study describes historical trends in recommended and actual sleep durations for children and adolescents, and explores the rationale of sleep recommendations.
Media Use and Child Sleep: The Impact of Content, Timing, and Environment PEDIATRICS (2011)
Media use has been shown to negatively affect a child's sleep, especially in the context of evening use or with a television in the child's bedroom. Little is known about how content choices and adult co-use affect this relationship. This study describes the impact of media content, timing, and use on child sleep.
Short Sleep Duration and Behavioral Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Healthy 7- to 8-Year-Old Children
This study evaluates whether short sleep is associated with behavioral symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in 7- to 8-year-old children.
Emotional Wellness Handouts & Resources
Research has shown that even the best social skills intervention for children may fall short without a well-defined, complete framework to support it.
Articles on Children's Social Development
- Caution…Children at Play (2012)
Pediatricians agree that playtime is a very important part of a child’s social development. But hectic family schedules are making finding time for playtime more challenging than ever. The Nemours Foundation suggests 30 minutes of adult-led physical activity and 60 minutes of unstructured play each day.
- Intellectual, Behavioral, and Social Outcomes of Accidental Traumatic Brain Injury in Early Childhood (2012)
The intellectual, behavioral, and social functions of children who sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) before 3 years of age were compared with a group of uninjured children. The role of injury and environmental factors in recovery were also examined.
- Social Skills and Academic Achievement (2008)
This publication clarifies what social skills are and explores their impact on behavior and academics. Research on social skills interventions and programs for children with disabilities is also reviewed. Examples of interventions that can be applied in both classroom and home settings are given as well.
Promoting Children's Emotional & Behavioral Health
Promoting Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Health (2010)
The social and emotional health of children and adolescents — how they experience and express feelings, interact with others, build and sustain positive relationships, and manage challenging situations — is an intrinsic part of their overall health and well-being. Children who are emotionally healthy are more likely to enter school ready to learn, succeed in school, be physically healthy, and lead productive lives.
Resources to Help Improve Health Literacy
- Health Literacy and Child Health Promotion: Implications for Research, Clinical Care, and Public Policy (from American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Health Communication, Health Literacy, and e-Health: The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) has pulled together key tools, research and reports and resources for public health, and health communication professionals.
- Healthy People: serves as the foundation for prevention efforts across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.