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ERIC Number: EJ1277340
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4391
Model School-District Wellness Policies Warrant Improvements in Comprehensiveness and Strength
Meendering, Jessica R.; Skinner, Maty M.; McCormack, Lacey A.
Journal of School Health, v91 n1 p77-83 Jan 2021
Background: School districts participating in the US Child Nutrition program are required to have a wellness policy. Many state agencies provide model policies to aid districts in policy creation. However, use of model wellness policies has not been associated with higher quality policies. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to assess the quality of model wellness policies and to determine if federal regulations are more likely to be included than evidence-based best practices. Methods: Model wellness polices available through state agency websites were analyzed for comprehensiveness and strength using the WellSAT 3.0 and item status as a federal regulation or best practice was assigned. We used linear regression to determine if federal regulation status was associated with inclusion in model wellness policies. Results: Overall, 34 states had model wellness policies available online. The total comprehensiveness and strength of model wellness policies was 59.3 ± 17.5 and 21.4 ± 17.6, respectively, out of 100 possible points. Among policy sections, comprehensiveness was highest within Nutrition Education (73.2 ± 31.6) and lowest in Wellness Promotion and Marketing (49.8 ± 27.2). On average, WellSAT items that were federal regulations were covered in 71% of model policies, while best practices were only covered in 54% of model policies (p = 0.008). Conclusions: There is a need to improve the quality of model wellness policies. The development of a uniform model policy may be warranted to provide a comprehensive list of federal regulations and best practices, written with strong language, for inclusion within school wellness policies.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1012020