244843 Statewide Health Improvement Program in Olmsted County, Minnesota: The School Food and Beverage Environment

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:48 AM

Rajni Banthia, PhD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Mariah Lafleur, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Lisa Craypo, MPH, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Maria Boyle, MS, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
JoAnne Judge-Dietz, PHN, MA , Olmsted County Public Health Services, Rochester, MN
Sarah Samuels, DrPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
INTRODUCTION. The Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) was developed in response to the Minnesota legislature's request to create a plan for statewide health promotion and chronic illness prevention through policy, systems and environmental change. As part of this effort, Olmsted County SHIP has successfully engaged school districts in implementing farm-to-school programs and providing healthier foods and beverages a la carte and in vending machines. METHODS. The SHIP evaluation included environmental assessments of the competitive foods and beverages and school meals, as well as stakeholder interviews with student nutrition services staff. Nutrient analyses were conducted to determine adherence of competitive foods and beverages to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) school standards, which are extremely stringent. RESULTS. School lunches included an average of 4 fresh fruits or vegetables at baseline and preliminary endpoint findings indicate schools have been successful in incorporating more fruits and vegetables, especially from local sources. At baseline, only 5% of competitive foods and 12% of competitive beverages adhered to IOM standards; endpoint data is currently being collected and will be presented. In terms of successes, positive reactions to food and beverage changes from farmers, students, school staff, and parents were cited; and barriers included limited funding, staff engagement, and vendor resistance. DISCUSSION. Healthier food and beverage options at schools will result in healthier behaviors such as trying and eating more fruits and vegetables and consuming fewer unhealthy processed foods. However, significant change and full adherence to rigorous food and beverage standards may take considerable time to achieve.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe interventions that are being used to improve school food and beverage environments. 2.Describe challenges to improving school food and beverage environments. 3.Describe the Institute of Medicine standards for competitive foods and beverages.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience conducting these types of evaluations.
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.