Youth Healthy Eating & Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards for Prevention Providers

Youth Healthy Eating & Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards for Prevention Providers

Studies show that healthy, active youth learn better, perform better academically and experience fewer behavioral problems. But many young people are not getting the healthy food and physical activity they need each day.

Getting sufficient regular physical activity and eating a healthy breakfast and other healthy foods every day promotes physical and mental health and helps prevent substance use among youth.

That’s why the standards on Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) are a great resource for substance use prevention and health specialists concerned about promoting the whole-health of youth.

While the HEPA 2.0 standards were created for out of school programs, they can be adopted for use in other settings and organizations.

The standards include the five content areas and an accompanying set of standards:

  1. Content and Quality (CQ): 19 Standards
  2. Staff Training (ST): 5 Standards
  3. Social Support (SS): 11 Standards
  4. Program Support (PS): 8 Standards
  5. Environmental Support (ES): 5 Standards

The first Content Area includes standards that translate nutrition and physical activity science into actions OST programs can take to offer health-promoting foods, beverages, and physical activity.

The remaining four Content Areas have standards that address program and organizational policy and infrastructure and reflect implementation, as well as health promotion science and management expertise.

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