Evidence-based health promotion programs for schools and communities

Am J Prev Med. 2011 Feb;40(2):207-19. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.10.031.


Healthy People 2020 includes an objective to increase the proportion of elementary, middle, and senior high schools that provide comprehensive school health education to prevent health problems in the following areas: unintentional injury; violence; suicide; tobacco use and addiction; alcohol or other drug use; unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted infections (STI); unhealthy dietary patterns; and inadequate physical activity. These specific goals are part of the efforts of Healthy People 2020 to increase the proportion of elementary, middle, and senior high schools that have health education goals or objectives that address the knowledge and skills articulated in the National Health Education Standards. A focus on Pre-K through 12 health education is a prerequisite for the implementation of a coordinated, seamless approach to health education as advocated by the Healthy People Curriculum Task Force and incorporated into the Education for Health framework. To help accomplish these goals, this article views the role of education as part of the broader socioecologic model of health. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken to identify evidence-based, peer-reviewed programs, strategies, and resources. The results of this review are presented organized as sexual health, mental and emotional health, injury prevention, tobacco and substance abuse, and exercise and healthy eating. Evidence-based implementation strategies, often considered the missing link, are recommended to help achieve the Healthy People 2020 objective of increasing the prevalence of comprehensive school health education programs designed to reduce health risks for children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Exercise
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Healthy People Programs / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Schools*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control