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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2019 Jan 29. pii: S1499-4046(19)30002-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2018.12.011. [Epub ahead of print]

Educator Perspectives: Selected Barriers to Implementation of School-Level Nutrition Policies.

Author information

1
play2PREVENT Lab, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Electronic address: cff2109@tc.columbia.edu.
2
Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT.
3
Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT; Department of Health & Behavior Studies, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, NY.
4
Department of Social Sciences (Public Health and Psychology), Yale-National University of Singapore College, Singapore.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To improve understanding about selected barriers to the implementation of 2 school food policies by examining the perceptions of those responsible for implementation.

DESIGN:

Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted.

SETTING:

Policies were implemented in an urban district in the northeastern US.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants were 67 educators, including principals, assistant principals, school wellness facilitators, teachers, and staff. The majority were female (n = 49; 73.13%) and white (n = 55; 82.09%).

INTERVENTIONS:

Two school nutrition policies: Food as a Reward and In-School Celebrations.

PHENOMENON OF INTEREST:

This study focused on educators' responses related to barriers to implementation.

ANALYSIS:

Transcripts were uploaded to NVivo for organization and coding.

RESULTS:

The following themes emerged: student hunger and cultural norms.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Understanding the challenges of those who are implementing school-level policies is necessary to advancing school nutrition reform effectively. Next steps for practice and research include addressing basic needs such as a sense of belonging and food insecurity, within school-family, adapting policies to meet those needs in schools, and including local educators as equal partners in developing policies to ensure that policies are acceptable and implemented as planned. By involving educators and ensuring that basic needs are met first, educators may feel more motivated to implement classroom policies.

KEYWORDS:

child and adolescent obesity; implementation science; nutrition policies; school wellness

PMID:
30704936
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2018.12.011

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