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Elementary Schools Go for the Gold Medal – A CDC Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant Success Story

Almost one in every four Utah students in grades K–6 is overweight or obese. The lack of school policies and environmental supports for physical activity and healthy eating contribute to this ongoing epidemic of obesity among school-aged children. Utah’s elementary schools increasingly focus on student academic achievement, resulting in fewer opportunities for physical activity and nutrition education.

As early as 2001, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) recognized the emerging trend of childhood obesity. Studies showed that most overweight and obese children become obese adults. The increasing rates of obesity in Utah also meant an increase in the risk factors associated with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. To address these problems, UDOH created Gold Medal Schools, a program that gives new meaning to the age-old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Learn how the Utah Department of Health partnered with schools and local health departments to create healthier school environments and address childhood obesity.

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Date Posted:
Organization Name: Utah Department of Health
Program Name: 

Gold Medal Schools

P.O. Box 142107
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2107
United States
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s) addressed: 
Healthy People 2020 Objective(s) addressed: 
Healthy People 2020 overarching goal addressed: 
Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
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The Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant supports prevention efforts in 50 states, the District of Columbia, 8 US territories, and 2 American Indian tribes. It is managed by the Division of Population Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments. For more information, go to

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