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Qualitative Study of the Implications of the Recent Texas School Nutrition Policy from the Principal’s Perspective

by Deek, Rima S

Abstract (Summary)
There is no national School Nutrition Policy in the United States, which has lead to the need for each state to develop its own school nutrition policy. Establishing a School Nutrition Policy can limit the poor nutritional habits children today have and therefore, alleviate the escalating problem of childhood overweight and obesity. A good example of such a policy is the Texas School Nutrition Policy, which was implemented through the Department of Agriculture in 2004. The objectives of this qualitative study were to determine the reaction to the implementation of the first year of the Texas School Nutrition Policy as perceived by the school principals, determine the advantages of implementing a school nutrition policy, determine the barriers of implementing a school nutrition policy in Texas and develop recommendations beneficial to states that have not yet implemented a school nutrition policy. Twenty three school principals and one assistant principal from Texas were interviewed by phone from the regions that have implemented the Texas School Nutrition Policy during the 2004 - 2005 academic year using a semi- structured question format. The interviews were audiotaped then transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed by dividing responses into categories and then developing relationships between these categories. Major themes that emerged from the analysis were: the role of parent verses role of school in promoting healthful food choices among the children; school practices that changed as a result of the policy; and how the school nutrition policy affected principals, teachers, and students’ practices. Nutrition intervention programs targeting parents and aiming at increasing their knowledge in food and nutrition in order to positively influence their children’s behaviors are recommended. Future research should focus on how parents shape children’s eating habits compared to school and how the nutritional status of children in Texas has changed since the implementation of the school nutrition policy.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:school nutrition policy qualitative study

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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