ERIC Number: EJ746149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Reference Count: 21
Students' Perceptions of the Impact of Nutrition Policies on Dietary Behaviors
Vecchiarelli, Stephanie; Takayanagi, Sumiko; Neumann, Charlotte
Journal of School Health, v76 n10 p525-531 Dec 2006
Poor dietary habits, rising rates of overweight students, and lack of oversight of vending contracts prompted the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to develop and implement 2 of the most comprehensive nutrition policies in the country. The Healthy Beverage Resolution and Obesity Prevention Motion limit the types of and access to beverages and snacks on school campuses. This study used qualitative and quantitative methods to document the development, implementation, and impact of the LAUSD nutrition policies. Questionnaires were administered to 399 12th-grade students in 2 LAUSD high schools to determine knowledge of the policies, perceptions of the impact of the policies on student dietary behaviors, and attitudes toward the policies and the school nutrition environment. Over one half of all students indicated that the policies impacted the foods and beverages they consumed at school, whereas only about one fifth indicated the policies impacted what they ate or drank at home/outside of school. However, for those students who indicated the policies had an impact, they reported they ate or drank fewer of the banned items both at school and at home/outside of school. These results point to the need for additional research to determine if school policies impact student behaviors outside of the school setting. Removing unhealthy food items from schools may not be enough to improve students overall dietary behaviors. A coordinated multilevel approach including nutrition education, physical education, and parental involvement along with policies and modifications in food service is recommended.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Nutrition, Dietetics, Obesity, School Policy, Questionnaires, Grade 12, High Schools, Food, Physical Education, Parent Participation, Student Behavior, Eating Habits, High School Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 12; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California