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J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Jul;109(7):1215-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.04.011.

Food use in middle and high school fundraising: does policy support healthful practice? Results from a survey of Minnesota school principals.

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


This descriptive, cross-sectional study aimed to examine classroom, school-wide, and club/sports teams fundraising policies and practices of middle and high schools; concordance between policy and practice; and associations between healthful policy/practice scores and selected school characteristics. In 2006, principals/designees of middle (n=45) and high (n=71) schools in the St Paul/Minneapolis, MN, metropolitan area completed a self-administered mailed survey. Schools were attended by a convenience sample of students (n=349) participating in a longitudinal measurement study of children and their environments to assess obesity-related factors. Descriptive statistics, chi(2) tests, and multivariate linear regression were used to examine variables and associations of interest. Across schools, 50% had policies addressing the nutrient quality of food and drink items used in fundraising or disallowed food use for fundraising. About one third used chocolate, candy, and high-fat baked goods for classroom and school-wide fundraising; 60% sold these items for club/sports teams fundraising. More middle than high schools reported healthful fundraising policies or practices, as well as greater concordance between policies and practices. For all fundraising activities, high schools had significantly lower healthful policy/practice scores than middle schools (P<0.01). For school-wide fundraising, scores were significantly lower for public than private schools (P=0.02). Policies to regulate food used for fundraising were common and most supported healthful practice, particularly in middle schools. However, use of foods high in fat and added sugars remains a prevalent fundraising practice, especially in high schools and for club/sports teams, and requires additional attention.

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