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Healthy Summers

The Research: What Happens to Kids During the Summer?

When school doors close for the summer months, many children and families living in poverty face multiple, interrelated challenges. Learning loss, safety concerns, risk for obesity, and food insecurity all set children back developmentally and academically. Yet summer is often unrecognized as a unique time of year exacerbating these problems.

Many families struggle to find and pay for high-quality summer care for their children; many also lack access to healthy meals and safe places to play outdoors. In fact, emerging research is showing that young people’s health may actually decline in summer as compared to the school year, and that several factors contribute to this decline, including lower levels of engagement in physical activity and lack of access to healthy meals.

The connection between mind and body is strong, and summer learning programs – which currently serve more than 14 million children nationally – have an important role to play in reversing negative health and nutrition patterns in support of their academic mission.

Download the National Summer Learning Association's report, Healthy Summers for Kids, Turning Risk Into Opportunity.


Additional Resources:

Summertime and Weight Gain Research In Brief 

Federal Funding for Meals During the Summer Research in Brief 

The Food Research and Action Center's (FRAC) Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report 2014


The Healthy Summers Campaign is generously
supported by the
Walmart Foundation.
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