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ERIC Number: EJ1109891
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4391
Strength and Comprehensiveness of School Wellness Policies in Southeastern US School Districts
Cox, Melissa J.; Ennett, Susan T.; Ringwalt, Christopher L.; Hanley, Sean M.; Bowling, James M.
Journal of School Health, v86 n9 p631-637 Sep 2016
Background: In 2004, Congress passed legislation mandating that all public school districts participating in federal school meal programs develop a school wellness policy (SWP) to direct efforts related to nutrition and physical activity. We examined the extent to which SWPs varied in comprehensiveness and strength in a representative sample of school districts in the southeastern United States, the area of the country with the highest rates of childhood obesity. Methods: Policies were assessed using an established 96-item coding tool by 2 raters to ascertain the comprehensiveness and strength of the policies as a whole, and across distinct subsections specified by federal legislation. In addition, variability in SWP comprehensiveness and strength was assessed based on district sociodemographic characteristics. Results: Overall, SWPs in the southeastern states are weakly written, fragmented, and lack requirements necessary for healthy school environments. District size, which was the only sociodemographic factor related to policy characteristics, yielded an inverse association. Conclusions: To encourage continued promotion of healthy school environments, school districts will require technical support to improve the quality of their school wellness policies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: T32HD007376