Nutrition services and foods and beverages available at school: results from the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006.
ABSTRACT 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.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Although there are several evidence-based recommendations directed at improving nutrition and physical activity standards in schools, these guidelines have not been uniformly adopted throughout the United States. Consequently, research is needed to identify facilitators promoting schools to implement these recommendations. Therefore, this study analyzed the 2008 School Health Profiles Principal Survey (Profiles) to explore the role of family and community involvement in school nutrition and physical activity standards.METHODS Survey data on nutrition and physical activity policies, as well as family and community involvement, were available for 28 states, representing 6732 secondary schools. One-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA), 2-sample t-tests, Pearson's chi-square tests, and multiple logistic and linear regression models were employed in this analysis.RESULTSFamily and community involvement were associated with schools more frequently utilizing healthy eating strategies and offering students healthier food options. Further, involvement was associated with greater support for physical education staff and more intramural sports opportunities for students.CONCLUSIONS Though family and community involvement have the potential to have a positive influence on school nutrition and physical activity policies and practices, involvement remains low in schools. Increased efforts are needed to encourage collaboration among schools, families, and communities to ensure the highest health standards for all students.Journal of School Health 02/2015; 85(2). DOI:10.1111/josh.12231 · 1.50 Impact Factor