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School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

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Healthy eating and regular physical activity play a substantial role in preventing chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the three leading causes of death among adults aged >18 years (1–5). Poor diet and physical inactivity among younger persons can lead to an increased risk for certain chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity (1). During 2007–2008, 20% of U.S. children aged 6–11 years and 18% of persons aged 12–19 years were obese, percentages that have tripled since 1980 (6). Engaging children and adolescents in healthy eating and regular physical activity can lower their risk for obesity and related chronic diseases (7,8).