ERIC Number: EJ746147
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Reference Count: 52
Parents' Perceptions of Curricular Issues Affecting Children's Weight in Elementary Schools
Murnan, Judy; Price, James H.; Telljohann, Susan K.; Dake, Joseph A.; Boardley, Debra
Journal of School Health, v76 n10 p502-511 Dec 2006
The purpose of this study was to examine Ohio parents' perceptions of the role of elementary schools in preventing childhood overweight. In the United States, overweight is the most widespread health threat facing children and adolescents. Schools may be a useful point of intervention in addressing the escalating prevalence of childhood overweight because children spend over half their day at school. A questionnaire was developed based primarily on the School Health Index, a tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help schools assess and improve their physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, and safety policies and programs. Seven hundred surveys were sent to a random sample of Ohio parents of elementary school-aged children. This study (53% response rate) found that the majority (51-73%) of parents identified 14 items as very important in preventing childhood overweight, which is indicative of their support for these curricular topics within the elementary school. All items from the physical education component had less than 50% of the parents identifying these items as very important. The item that was least supported (16%) by the parents was measuring a child's body mass index. The majority (51%) of parents indicated their preference for elementary students' access to vending machines only if they contained nutritious foods and beverages, while 42% of parents preferred that elementary students should not be allowed access to vending machines at all. The findings from this study suggest that Ohio parents would be supportive of school-based interventions focusing on healthy eating, physical activity, and the school environment to help reduce the prevalence of overweight in elementary children.
Descriptors: Parent Attitudes, School Role, Elementary Schools, Prevention, Obesity, Elementary School Students, Questionnaires, Surveys, Intervention, Eating Habits, Physical Education, Health Education, Nutrition, Educational Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio