260064 Working with school districts to adopt, implement and evaluate competitive food policies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Kiana Trabue, MPH , Health Promotion and Education, Hamilton County Public Health, Cincinnati
Lauren Niemes, MEd, RD, LD , Nutrition Council of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Susan Schaefer, MEd , Health Promotion and Education, Hamilton County Public Health, Cincinnati, OH
Stacy Wegley, MS, ACSM , Health Promotion and Education, Hamilton County Public Health, Cincinnati, OH
Unregulated competitive food sales reduce the amount of nutritious foods consumed at school. Results from the 2010 Hamilton County YRBS show 10.7% of students ate vegetables three or more times per day and 24.8% of students reported drinking soda one or more times per day during the seven days preceding the survey. WeTHRIVE! offered technical assistance and training to 22 school districts within Hamilton County to assist with the adoption of competitive foods policies. Stipends of up to $5,000 were available to assist with policy adoption and create student teams to assess competitive foods sales pre and post policy. Schools received individual and one-on-one training, an implementation tool kit and parent brochure. Photovoice, food audits and food service director (FSD) surveys and interviews were used for evaluation.Eleven (50%) districts took advantage of the technical assistance offered through WeTHRIVE! and adopted competitive food policies. After the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 210, the remaining 11 districts adopted. Post-policy surveys and competitive food audits showed changes in the competitive food options served in the majority of school districts (91%). FSDs cited perceived decrease in revenue (72%) and student acceptance (72%) as challenges. Limiting access to foods high in calories, fat and sugar through comprehensive policy change is an effective way to increase access to healthy foods in schools. WeTHRIVE! was successful in assisting school districts with policy adoption and implementation. Future programs should extensively educate students, parents and school leaders prior to policy adoption.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process one community used to work with school districts to successfully adopt and implement competitive food policies. List at least two challenges schools face when adopting, implementing and evaluating competitive food polices and ideas for overcoming these challenges. Receive at least three resources that can be adapted and used in your own community.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an MPH prepared Health Educator working with school districts to draft, adopt, implement and evaluate school policies as a means of limiting access to unhealthy food and subsequently increasing access to health foods. I have presented on these topics at professional conferences. In my role I assess individual and community needs for health promotion and education, plan and coordinate effective health promotion and education strategies, programs and training, and evaluate effectiveness of programming.
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.