Pierce County Juvenile Court recognizes that childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels in Washington and throughout the country. Overweight youth are at a higher risk for developing severe long-term health problems. However, research indicates that obesity and subsequent diseases are largely preventable through proper diet and regular physical activity.
The Juvenile Detention Department understands it has a responsibility to provide proper nutrition and physical activity to youth in its care and supports increased emphasis on nutrition as well as physical activity to enhance the well-being of their residents.
Therefore, it is the policy of the department to:
>Provide youth with nutritious meals and snacks.The Food Service Program shall provide all youth with nutritious meals and snacks according to the nutritional standards required by state and federal guidelines. When practicable, the department shall use food commodities made available under the Federal Food Commodity Program for school menus.
>Provide youth opportunities for physical activity and developmentally appropriate exercise. It is the goal of the detention department to provide physical fitness as a part of the youth’s daily regimen. When staffing and security requirements are met, youth are given a minimum of one hour of physical activity every day.
>Provide youth with accurate information/education related to these topics.Youth who eat well-balanced meals are more likely to be healthier and better apt to learn in the classroom. Nutrition information is integrated in Health/Science classes and/or core curriculum (i.e. math, reading, etc). Building nutrition knowledge helps youth make healthy eating and physical activity choices and foster lifelong healthy living habits.