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Maryland Wellness Policies and Practices Project

Overview

Since the initiation of the written “Local Wellness Policy” mandate by the federal government in 2004 and 2010 (Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act; Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act), school systems in Maryland have developed a wide range of policies supporting student wellness. The purpose of the Maryland Wellness Policies and Practices Project (MWPPP) is to enhance opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for Maryland students by helping schools and school systems create and implement strong and comprehensive written wellness policies.

MWPPP objectives are to:

  1. Evaluate the quality of written wellness policies (strength and comprehensiveness) 
  2. Evaluate the implementation of wellness policies on the system and school-level (barriers and enablers) 
  3. Evaluate the impact of wellness policies and policy implementation on child health and academic outcomes 
  4. Provide a guide for school system representatives and school administrators outlining strategies for fully implementing wellness policies.  
  5. Provide technical assistance for schools and school systems to support positive changes in wellness policy implementation.  
The intended outcomes of the MWPPP are to improve the strength and comprehensiveness of wellness policies and to improve wellness policy implementation in hopes that it will lead to healthier school environments, improved diet, and physical activity behaviors in school children to ultimately reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.  

Faculty & Staff

Erin Hager, Ph.D.
University of Maryland, School of Medicine
ehager@peds.umaryland.edu 

Diana Rubio
University of Maryland, School of Medicine
drubio@peds.umaryland.edu 

Institutional Partners

  • Institute for a Healthiest Maryland
  • Maryland State Department of Education
  • Maryland Department Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
  • University of Maryland Extension