197493 Dietary-related behavior correlates for faculty and staff in a school health promotion setting

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wynn Gillan, DrPH, CHES , Kinesiology & Health Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA
Mildred R. Naquin, PhD , Health Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA
Marie Zannis, PhD , Health Education Consultant, Thibodaux, LA
Ashley Gibson, PhD , Kinesiology & Health Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA
Julie D. Brewer, MA , Health Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, Gonzales, LA
Background: Knowledge of lifestyle behaviors in potential school health promotion participants may improve programming decisions.

Purpose: To determine the relationships between school employees' dietary behaviors and their stress-related coping styles.

Methods: Potential participants in a school district health promotion program (N=400) were sent an online questionnaire that measured stress coping strategies, and dietary behaviors. Participants included high school teachers and staff, school board members, and other school district employees. Of the 136 respondents, 71% were female, and 59.6% faculty members, 19.9% staff, 8.8% administrators, and 11.7% board members, retirees or “other.” Descriptive statistics were used to determine relationships between behaviors.

Findings: Drinking sweetened soft drinks with caffeine decreased the likelihood of consuming fruit. Decaffeinated coffee drinking was positively associated with green salad consumption. Green salad consumption increased the likelihood of selecting carrots and other vegetables. Those that choose “low calorie” beverages were less likely to drink herbal decaffeinated tea. Those selecting green salad and fruit were more likely to use Task Oriented Coping to control stress.

Conclusion: Healthy behaviors such as consuming green salads, vegetables, and fruits correlated with other types of healthy behaviors, such as selecting decaffeinated coffee and using task oriented coping to control stress. The decreased probability of selecting fruit in those choosing sweetened soft drinks could affect risk for a variety of lifestyle diseases and should be confirmed by additional studies. School health promotion programs may improve effectiveness by considering the food and beverage selections of their participants.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain priority areas of health that may be promoted among school faculty and staff members. 2. Discuss dietary factors associated with healthy behaviors.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Have collected dietary surveys information, conducted statistical analysis, and presented results in oral and written formats.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.