ERIC Number: EJ1083989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of School Design in Shaping Healthy Eating-Related Attitudes, Practices, and Behaviors among School Staff
Frerichs, Leah; Brittin, Jeri; Intolubbe-Chmil, Loren; Trowbridge, Matthew; Sorensen, Dina; Huang, Terry T.-K.
Journal of School Health, v86 n1 p11-22 Jan 2016
Background: Schools have increasing responsibility to address healthy eating, but physical barriers influence their ability to adopt and sustain recommended strategies. We took advantage of a natural experiment to investigate the role of the physical environment in shaping healthy eating attitudes and practices among school staff members. Methods: A school district consolidated its elementary schools and incorporated architectural features to support healthy eating into a building renovation. Surveys along with structured, in-depth interviews were administered prior to and at 12 months postoccupancy. Paired t-tests and McNemar's tests were used to analyze changes in survey indices and interview data were coded for themes. Results: The school implemented new policies and programs, including staff wellness activities. There was a significant decrease in the percent of teachers with a high-fat diet (from 73.68% to 57.14%, p < 0.05). Many physical barriers were removed but new challenges emerged, and staff varied in their awareness and comfort with using the new healthy eating features. Conclusions: We found promising evidence that school architecture can support a school to address healthy eating. To enhance influence of the physical environment, more research is merited to test complementary strategies such as improving ownership of space and increasing self-efficacy to manage space.
Descriptors: Eating Habits, School Personnel, Barriers, Environmental Influences, Health Behavior, School Districts, Interviews, Pretests Posttests, Coding, School Policy, Wellness, Teacher Behavior, Behavior Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A