Daily Physical Activity, Diet of Fruits, and Vegetables
SFUSD data demonstrates a critical need for targeted intervention around nutrition and exercise at each of the four schools, but especially at the elementary school level, where only 22% of MPN students are considered within a healthy range for their age and height. Overall, MPN students perform at half the rate of other students in SFUSD. Only 25% of students across the four target schools eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day. When analyzed by grade level, kindergarteners reported the highest rate of fruit and vegetable consumption, while not one 11th grader reported consuming more than 5 fruits and vegetables daily, suggesting that eating habits change across time as children move through school. In terms of exercise, roughly 69% of students report exercising for 60 minutes or more a day. When broken out by grade, first graders report the lowest rate of exercise at 45%.
San Francisco Unified conducts an annual physical fitness test for a subset of its elementary, middle, and high school students. The most pertinent information from this test is data collected on body composition, which measures whether a student has met the standard for Body Mass Index (BMI) set by the state of California. BMI is a reliable and well-known indicator of obesity for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. Using BMI here helps to determine to what extent children and youth may be lacking in exercise and proper nutrition. These figures are reported here for MPN students and compared against figures for San Francisco Unified.
In order to gather more precise information on the daily consumption of fruits and vegetables and the amount of exercise per day for those attending MPN schools, students were asked a series of relevant questions through the MPN student survey, a classroom survey conducted by the Center for Latino Policy Research in May 2012 where data was gathered from 709 students in grades K-11. Students responded to the following questions: 1) How many fruits and vegetables did you eat since yesterday morning, and 2) Since yesterday morning, did you exercise or play a sport for at least 1 hour?