ERIC Number: EJ1157047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
High School Students' Recommendations to Improve School Food Environments: Insights from a Critical Stakeholder Group
Asada, Yuka; Hughes, Alejandro G.; Read, Margaret; Schwartz, Marlene B.; Chriqui, Jamie F.
Journal of School Health, v87 n11 p842-849 Nov 2017
Background: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) directed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revise school meal standards. Students are most affected by efforts to improve the school food environment; yet, few studies directly include students. This study examined high school students' experiences of school meal reform to gain insight into implementation recommendations. Methods: We conducted 5 focus groups with high school students (N = 15) from high schools across 9 states. We also conducted follow-up interviews to further explore personal experiences. Focus groups and interview transcripts were coded and organized in Atlas.ti v7 by analysts, following principles of constant comparative analysis. Results: Students reported overall positive perceptions of the revised school meal standards and supported continued efforts to improve the food environment. Recommendations to improve the food environment included engaging students, focusing on the quality and palatability of meal items, moving toward scratch-cooking, and addressing cafeteria infrastructure. Conclusions: Students' recommendations point to opportunities where school districts, as well as local, state, and federal organizations can work to improve the school food environment. Their insights are directly relevant to USDA's recently released Local School Wellness Policy final rule, of which school meal standards are one provision.
Descriptors: High School Students, Food, Focus Groups, Student Experience, Followup Studies, School Districts, Food Standards, Lunch Programs, Nutrition, Stakeholders, Adolescents, Food Service, Student Attitudes, Federal Legislation, Breakfast Programs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Sponsor: US Department of Agriculture
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: USDAFNSOPSSWP15IL01