263283 Food Service Directors' perspectives and strategies: Strengthening competitive food and beverage standards while minimizing impacts to school profits

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Yuka Asada, MHSc RD LDN , School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Katherine Infusino, BA , DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Jamie F. Chriqui, PhD, MHS , Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Elissa Bassler, MFA , 954 W Washington, Illinois Public Health Institute, Chicago, IL
Kendall Stagg, JD , Illinois Public Health Institute, Chicago
Linda Schneider, MS, Research Specialist , 954 W Washington, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background and Purpose: Since the Child Nutrition Act of 2004, districts nationwide adopted a wide range of competitive food and beverage policies. One key barrier that districts face in adopting and implementing strong standards is the threat of lost profits. Significance: Districts nationwide continue to work on school nutrition standards with limited evidence for best practices. By highlighting these strategies through the experiences of a key stakeholder in school nutrition reform- Food Service Directors (FSDs) - this research provides lessons learned for schools that are implementing stronger nutrition standards with limited resources. Also, these findings are relevant as the USDA seeks new nutrition standards for all foods outside of school meal programs. Methodology: The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) partnered to identify 27 districts nationwide with strong nutrition standards through the Bridging the Gap (BTG) project at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Health Policy Center. From these districts, 9 FSDs completed semi-structured telephone interviews that focused on implementation of successful strategies and impacts on finances. Findings: Preliminary findings indicate diverse challenges that were met with a wide range of creative strategies. FSDs incorporated gardening, farm to school strategies, and community collaborations to reform school food environments. FSD also involved students to improve food presentation, which encouraged participation in school meals. Conclusion: These case studies contribute to our knowledge of best practices for implementing stronger nutrition standards without compromising profits.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe 3 strategies used by food service directors to implement stronger nutrition standards without substantial impacts to profits. 2.Identify barriers faced by food service directors while transitioning to stronger nutrition standards and the implementation practices used to address them. 3.Discuss technical assistance strategies for food service staff responsible for implementing federal, state, or district level nutrition standards for competitive foods.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on two key food and nutrition policy related studies and concentrated on school nutrition policies for all of my doctoral studies. I am a registered dietician and hold a masters degree in nutrition communication, currently a PhD student in MCH PUblic Health at UIC. I previously worked at Northwestern U. In health literacy. I have presented at professional conferences.
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.