Student Involvement in Wellness Policies: A Study of Pennsylvania Local Education Agencies

Lamis H. Jomaa, Elaine McDonnell, Elaine Weirich, Terryl Hartman, Leif Jensen, Claudia Probart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Explore student-involvement goals in local wellness policies (LWPs) of local education agencies (LEAs) in Pennsylvania (PA) and investigate associations with LEA characteristics. Design: An observational study that helped examine student-involvement goals. Setting: Public PA LEAs. Participants: LWPs submitted by 539 PA public LEAs. Main Outcome Measures: Six student-involvement goals analyzed as dependent variables. Correlations between demographic and policy characteristics of LEAs and student-involvement goals were measured. Analysis: Policies developed by LEAs were abstracted and analyzed. Logistic regression models were developed to analyze relationships between student-involvement goals and the demographic and policy characteristics of LEAs. Results: Majority of LEAs included policy goals that address student involvement in an array of activities related to wellness policy, food service, and role modeling. Regression models showed that LEAs with comprehensive and strong policies were most likely to include student-involvement goals regardless of LEA location, enrollment, or socioeconomic status of students. Conclusions and Implications: Student engagement in school nutrition policies has been shown to increase student acceptance in an array of health-related areas and is therefore promising in the area of obesity prevention. Comprehensiveness and rigor of LWPs were strongly correlated with the inclusion of student-involvement goals on LWPs. The upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition programs in 2010 creates a good opportunity to address student involvement in LWPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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