261635 Interventions for improving nutritional content of school meals: Lessons learned from suburban Cook County CPPW

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Soyang Kwon, PhD , Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, Chicago, IL
Sarah Welch, MPH , Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, Chicago, IL
Maryann Mason, PhD , Pediatrics/CMRC, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Introduction: The Suburban Cook County Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative funded school districts to improve school meal (SM) nutritional quality through its “Model Communities” program. SM are an important source of nutrition for students. Thus, improving SM nutritional quality could have significant impact on student nutrition. SCC has chosen not to prescribe a particular intervention but rather has encouraged Model Communities to make changes that are appropriate to their context and sustainable in their districts. In this presentation we review the variety of SM interventions implemented by SCC Model Communities. Methods: We conducted interviews with school personnel representing 10 SCC elementary schools funded under the Model Communities program. The interviews explored school SM interventions in-depth including timing, changes in plans, operation details, barriers and facilitators, staff and student reactions and sustainability. Qualitative methods using constant comparative techniques are used to analyze data. Results: Interviews were conducted in winter 2012. Preliminary themes identified include: the necessity of having a “change champion”, need for clear communication between the districts and schools, and time and cost constraints. Discussion: These data add to practical understanding of scope and reach of SM interventions and identification of necessary resources to accomplish and sustain SM interventions in a variety of school contexts.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1.List various approaches to obesity prevention through interventions for improving the nutritional quality of school meals. 2.Describe facilitators and barriers to successful implementation of school meal change strategies. 3.Discuss implications for lessons learned as they relate to successful implementation in other communities and school systems in the U.S.

Keywords: School Health, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a childhood obesity epidemiologist. My primary responsibilities for this project include research design and data analysis. I have been involved in evaluation of interventions/their implementations for nutritional quality of school meals.
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.