Schools are in a unique position to promote healthy dietary behaviors and help ensure appropriate nutrient intake. This article describes the characteristics of both school nutrition services and the foods and beverages sold outside of the school meals program in the United States, including state- and district-level policies and school practices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts the School Health Policies and Programs Study every 6 years. In 2006, computer-assisted telephone interviews or self-administered mail questionnaires were completed by state education agency personnel in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and among a nationally representative sample of school districts (n=445). Computer-assisted personal interviews were conducted with personnel in a nationally representative sample of elementary, middle, and high schools (n=944).
Few states required schools to restrict the availability of deep-fried foods, to prohibit the sale of foods that have low nutrient density in certain venues, or to make healthful beverages available when beverages were offered. While many schools sold healthful foods and beverages outside of the school nutrition services program, many also sold items high in fat, sodium, and added sugars.
Nutrition services program practices in many schools continue to need improvement. Districts and schools should implement more food preparation practices that reduce the total fat, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar content of school meals. In addition, opportunities to eat and drink at school should be used to encourage greater daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We tested the association between child and parental health literacy (HL) and odds of child and adolescent obesity.
We conducted an anonymous cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of English-speaking child-parent dyads. Newest Vital Sign (NVS) measured HL. We used multivariable logistic regression to test adjusted association between child and parental NVS and obesity. Analyses were stratified for school-aged children (aged 7-11) vs. adolescents (aged 12-19).
We surveyed 239 child-parent dyads. Median child age was 11 [inter-quartile range 9-13]; 123 (51%) were male; 84% Medicaid recipients; 27% obese. For children, the odds of obesity [adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval)] decreased with higher parent NVS [0.75 (0.56,1.00)] and increased with parent obesity [2.53 (1.08,5.94)]. For adolescents, odds of obesity were higher for adolescents with the lowest category of NVS [5.00 (1.26, 19.8)] and older parental age [1.07 (1.01,1.14)] and lower for Medicaid recipients [0.21 (0.06,0.78)] and higher parental education [0.38 (0.22,0.63)].
Obesity in school-aged children is associated with parental factors (obesity, parental HL); obesity in adolescents is strongly associated with the adolescent's HL.
Strategies to prevent and treat obesity should consider limited HL of parents for child obesity and of adolescents for adolescent obesity.
"The availability of less healthful food and beverages in schools is widespread
[3-5]. Despite recent changes to improve the school food environment, the availability of some high fat food such as pizza and hamburgers, remains alarmingly high in U.S. schools (73.9% and 82.6%, respectively for elementary and middle/ high schools)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The school food environment is important to target as less healthful food and beverages are widely available at schools. This study examined whether the availability of specific food/beverage items was associated with a number of school environmental factors.
Principals from elementary (n = 369) and middle/high schools (n = 118) in British Columbia (BC), Canada completed a survey measuring characteristics of the school environment. Our measurement framework integrated constructs from the Theories of Organizational Change and elements from Stillman’s Tobacco Policy Framework adapted for obesity prevention. Our measurement framework included assessment of policy institutionalization of nutritional guidelines at the district and school levels, climate, nutritional capacity and resources (nutritional resources and participation in nutritional programs), nutritional practices, and school community support for enacting stricter nutritional guidelines. We used hierarchical mixed-effects logistic regression analyses to examine associations with the availability of fruit, vegetables, pizza/hamburgers/hot dogs, chocolate candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, and french fried potatoes.
In elementary schools, fruit and vegetable availability was more likely among schools that have more nutritional resources (OR = 6.74 and 5.23, respectively). In addition, fruit availability in elementary schools was highest in schools that participated in the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program and the BC Milk program (OR = 4.54 and OR = 3.05, respectively). In middle/high schools, having more nutritional resources was associated with vegetable availability only (OR = 5.78). Finally, middle/high schools that have healthier nutritional practices (i.e., which align with upcoming provincial/state guidelines) were less likely to have the following food/beverage items available at school: chocolate candy (OR = .80) and sugar-sweetened beverages (OR = .76).
School nutritional capacity, resources, and practices were associated with the availability of specific food/beverage items in BC public schools. Policies targeting the school environment are increasingly being considered as one of the strategies used to address childhood obesity, as a result it is important to further understand the factors associated with the availability of specific food/beverage items at school.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 02/2013; 10(1):26. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-10-26 · 4.11 Impact Factor
"Various efforts for prevention of food poisoning due to school foodservice have been made at the institutional and personal hygiene levels in many countries including the USA , and the efforts for improving the environment for food safety have been developed in schools and the surrounding areas . In the nutrition domain, many studies have been performed for prevention of childhood obesity  and nutrition imbalance [11,12]. A strategic plan has been developed to promote more healthful eating behaviors and lifestyles . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This pilot study was performed to produce data of the Children's Dietary Life Safety (CDLS) Index which is required by the Special Act on Safety Management of Children's Dietary Life and to evaluate the CDLS Index for 7 metropolitan cities and 9 provinces in Korea. To calculate the CDLS Index score, data regarding the evaluation indicators in the children's food safety domain and children's nutrition safety domain were collected from the local governments in 2009. For data regarding the indicators in the children's perception & practice domain, a survey was conducted on 2,400 5th grade children selected by stratified sampling in 16 local areas. Relative scores of indicators in each domain were calculated using the data provided by local governments and the survey, the weights are applied on relative scores, and then the CDLS Index scores of local governments were produced by adding scores of the 3 domains. The national average scores of the food safety domain, the nutrition safety domain and the perception and practice domain were 23.74 (14.67-26.50 on a 40-point scale), 16.65 (12.25-19.60 on a 40-point scale), and 14.88 (14.16-15.30 on a 20-point scale), respectively. The national average score of the CDLS Index which was produced by adding the scores of the three domains was 55.27 ranging 46.44-58.94 among local governments. The CDLS Index scores produced in this study may provide the motivation for comparing relative accomplishment and for actively achieving the goals through establishment of the target value by local governments. Also, it can be used as useful data for the establishment and improvement of children's dietary life safety policy at the national level.
Nutrition research and practice 12/2012; 6(6):542-50. DOI:10.4162/nrp.2012.6.6.542 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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