204405 Support of Local or State Farm-to-School Policies among Americans, 2008

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:00 PM

Diane M. Harris, PhD, MPH, CHES , Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Heidi M. Blanck, PhD , Division of Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Jian Chen, MSc , Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Latetia V. Moore, PhD , Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Amy L. Yaroch, PhD , Health Promotion Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Farm-to-school (F2S) programs aim to increase intake of fruit and vegetables (F&V) in schoolchildren by linking community farmers to schools. They can also help promote nutrition education, support local economies, and preserve farms. Few state and local jurisdictions have policies to promote their establishment. We therefore assessed Americans' support for local or state policies to create F2S programs.

We used data from the 2008 HealthStyles mailed consumer panel survey of U.S. adults weighted to U.S. demographics. Participants were asked: “Would you support changes to local or state rules/policies to create F2S programs to provide locally grown F&V in schools for breakfast, lunch, and snacks?” A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine associations between being supportive (“very likely” and “likely”) and sociodemographic characteristics (significance p<.05). Of 5,295 respondents, the majority were supportive of policy change to create F2S programs (60%). Females (63%) were significantly more supportive than males (57%), and support decreased with age (68% 18-34 y; 61% 35-54 y; 56% 55+ y). Support differed by race/ethnicity (58% non-Hispanic whites; 69% non-Hispanic Blacks; 65% Hispanic; 59% other). Support also differed by region (62% Northeast; 62% South; 58% Midwest; 56% West). There was no significant relationship between education level and support (59% <=igh school graduate; 61% any college education; 59% college or post-graduate) or for household income (62% <$5,000; 61% $25,000-<$0,000; 57% >=$60,000).

Although we found variations in support levels by sex, age, race/ethnicity and region, these data indicate that Americans generally favor changes in policy to support F2S programs.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the utility of farm-to-school programs as a nutrition intervention for public health Describe differences in support for changes in local or state rules and policies to facilitate formation of farm-to-school programs by sociodemographic factors

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Current student in Emory cMPH program and intern at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where I am working on the project to be presented
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.