253481 Tools for implementing state-level school-based obesity prevention legislation: Lessons from Maine's ban on junk food and beverage marketing in schools

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sara M.A. Donahue, DrPH, MPH , Domestic Health Division, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA
Background: Food and beverage marketing directed toward children may be an important contributor to childhood obesity rates. In 2007, Maine became the first state to pass comprehensive legislation limiting junk food and beverage (JFB) marketing on K-12 public school campuses. Toolkits are commonly used as a way to compile a concise set of information and resources to help facilitate the implementation process for a specific initiative such as new legislation or regulations. Methods: A case study research approach was used to identify resource needs for more comprehensive implementation and enforcement of Chapter 156, Maine's school JFB marketing ban. Individual tools to address these needs were identified through a review of research and grey literature databases, individual websites, and key informant interviews. Findings: Tools to meet six resource needs for Chapter 156 implementation and enforcement were identified: 1) information and technical assistance activities for the law, 2) an assessment tool to identify school JFB marketing, 3) information on other schools' experiences making changes to JFB marketing, 4) countermarketing resources, 5) alternative fundraising opportunities, and 6) information on raising parent and community awareness around school JFB marketing. Conclusions: Statewide restrictions on school JFB marketing can contribute to the development of school environments that support healthy eating. The Maine experience suggests that tools are needed to improve school compliance with legislation banning JFB marketing in the school setting. Tools identified in this study can be tailored to other communities that have adopted similar regulations and legislation to address JFB marketing in schools.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Explain a state-level approach to limit junk food and beverage marketing in schools. Understand resource needs related to policy implementation and enforcement identified from one state's experience using a legislative ban on junk food and beverage marketing. Identify tools that can be used to improve school compliance with policies restricting junk food and beverage marketing in schools.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and completed the study for my doctoral dissertation.
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.