Educators know that healthy students are better prepared to learn and succeed in school. It's also known that people who are better educated and obtain a college education have lower rates of health conditions and longer life expectancy.
Yet current health and education policy misses several simple but vital opportunities to boost academic success through health promotion and school wellness. The nation's current generation of students could become the first to live shorter and less healthy lives than their parents.
At the same time, our nation faces a growing achievement gap: Students who attend school in communities with lower socioeconomic status have lower academic outcomes than students in higher socioeconomic status communities. Overwhelmingly, the underserved communities predominantly comprise ethnic minority residents, which propagates a racial chasm. Research is increasingly confirming a link between the achievement gap and health disparities.
For this reason, Healthy Schools Campaign and Trust for America's Health developed "Health in Mind: Improving Education Through Wellness". This effort focuses on policy recommendations for immediate, practical changes at the federal level to help close the achievement gap and create a healthy future for all children.