In DuPage county more than one in seven (14.8%) kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade public school students were obese in 2016-2017. An obese child is more likely to be an obese adult and develop high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and a number of other problems.  Click here for a full report of DuPage County data.


In an effort to further improve the health of children across DuPage County, FORWARD DuPage in partnership with Action for Healthy Kids launched the Healthier DuPage Schools Challenge in 2016.  The goals of this program are to:

  1. Ensure that schools provide students with at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity to help children meet the 60-minute national recommendation.
  2. Ensure that schools provide students with nutrition education and access to healthy food and drink options.
  3. Ensure that schools motivate students and families to participate in activities that promote healthy eating and physical activity.
  4. Support schools in DuPage County in earning national recognition for their health promoting efforts through the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge.

By providing schools with the tools and resources they need to make the health of their students a key priority, the Healthier DuPage Schools Challenge will work to create a long-term, transformative impact on the health of DuPage children, families and communities. To date, seven schools have made sustainable health and wellness programs impacting nearly 4,000 children.

Recommendations to help your school take action:
-Spread the word about the publication
Childhood Obesity in DuPage County. Really, pass it on. Don't forget about your school board, administrators, teachers, PTA/PTO, parents, students, and community partners.
5-4-3-2-1 Go!® message:

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • 4 servings of water a day
  • 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • 2 or less hours of screen time a day
  • 1 or more hours of physical activity a day

​-Develop a Healthy Schools Program:

​-Assess the district's wellness policy using the WellSAT 2.0 Policy Assessment tool and incorporate improvements based on recommendations.
-Conduct the School Health Index (SHI) assessment in your school and develop an Action Plan based on the results.

-Host events and expand relationships with parents, volunteers, and other community partners.

For morel school healthy lifestyle resources click
here.  Need help getting started or want more details on the next steps? Contact FORWARD DuPage.

Focus Areas        

Early Childhood




Schools are a natural environment to promote healthy eating and physical activity. Research indicates that integrating health into school environments give students the opportunity for an academic advantage. ​​​For the past eight years, through a partnership with the Regional Office of Education and the DuPage County Health Department, FORWARD DuPage has been working with DuPage County schools to survey BMI rates, increase student’s healthy food and physical activity options, and help school leaders implement health promoting policies.