HealthPartners report shows schools' progress in helping kids eat better, move more

School Change Index measures practices around food, physical activity

MINNEAPOLIS--()--A new report shows changes in two Minnesota school districts to improve health for kids. Schools made the changes using a tool called the School Change Index. The tool measures changes on 36 practices around food and beverages, physical activity, screen time and rewards and celebrations.

HealthPartners BearPower and PowerUp initiatives developed the School Change Index. BearPower is a community partnership in White Bear Lake. PowerUp is a community partnership in the St. Croix Valley. Both promote eating better and moving more. The Index assigns points for practices such as:

  • Avoiding sugary treats as rewards
  • Having better-for-you food and drinks at school events
  • Participating in daily recess

The White Bear Lake School District started using the School Change Index four years ago. Since then, schools in the district have increased their School Change score by 26 percent.

"We want to help kids make good choices on food and physical activity, and this partnership with schools helps do that," said Andrea Walsh, HealthPartners President and CEO. "Habits formed in childhood last a lifetime and the School Change Index supports building better habits."

The Index provided support for the development of a new wellness policy in Stillwater schools. The policy hardwires practices around healthy eating and physical activity in the classroom and in the community. The School Change Index for Stillwater schools increased 20 percent the year after the wellness policy was implemented. Amery, Hudson, New Richmond and Somerset school districts are also using the School Change Index.

Read a report on the School Change Index.

About HealthPartners
Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation. It is dedicated to improving the health of its members, patients and the community.


Patricia Lund, 952-883-5487

Release Summary

Schools in Minnesota are improving health for kids using a tool developed by HealthPartners called the School Change Index.


Patricia Lund, 952-883-5487