Designing Schools for Obesity Prevention: A Collaborative Model of Architecture and Public Health

Designing Schools for Obesity Prevention: A Collaborative Model of Architecture and Public Health (LU)

Public health researchers and school architects collaborated on a practical set of strategies for making schools more conducive to healthy eating and activity.


Creating school environments that facilitate healthy eating and physical activity among children is a recommended national strategy to prevent and reduce childhood obesity. Presenters in this course developed design guidelines for school architecture that help promote healthy lifestyles for students. These guidelines will provide you with a practical set of spatially organized and theory-based strategies for making school environments more conducive to learning. Multiple domains of the school environment are reviewed as well as design strategies for strengthening connection to the surrounding community.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the role of the built environment in the development and prevention of obesity.        
  • List the design elements that can contribute to healthy eating and physical activity in schools or other building types.
  • Describe the scientific rationale behind at least one school design feature and childhood obesity.
  • Identify opportunities to partner with public health or other sectors in your own practice to design for health.
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 $40  non-member
 $25  member
1.50 LUs
  • HSW
  • GBCI
  • RIBA


  • Terry Huang

    Terry T. Huang

    PhD, MPH, CPH

    Professor and Chair, Department of Health Promotion | University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Public Health

    Co-Founder and Senior Advisor | National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)

    Terry Huang is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Promotion at the University of...
  • Dina Sorensen

    Dina M. Sorensen


    Project Designer | VMDO ARCHITECTS

    Dina’s design philosophy posits the need for a new architecture to translate and express the...
  • Matthew Trowbridge

    Matthew Trowbridge

    MD, MPH

    Assistant Professor | University of Virginia School of Medicine  

    Matthew Trowbridge is a physician, public health researcher, and assistant professor at the...