Soft drinks, candy, and fast food: what parents and teachers think about the middle school food environment.

Published

Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To assess the opinions and beliefs of parents and teachers of middle school students regarding the school food environment. DESIGN: Surveys mailed to parents and placed in teachers' school mailboxes included questions about adolescents' eating practices, food choice at school, and school-related food policies and practices. SUBJECTS/SETTINGS: A convenience sample of parents (n=350; response rate: 350/526=66%) and teachers (n=490; response rate: 490/701=70%) of middle school students from 16 schools in the St Paul-Minneapolis metropolitan area who participated in the Teens Eating for Energy and Nutrition at School study. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics examined the prevalence of parents' and teachers' opinions and beliefs about adolescents' eating practices, food choice at school, and school-related food policies and practices. RESULTS: Most parents and teachers agreed that the nutritional health of students should be a school priority. However, only 18% of parents and 31% of teachers believed schools give adequate attention to student nutrition. Among both parents and teachers, 90% agreed that more healthy snacks and beverages should be available in school vending machines and on school a la carte lines. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that parents and teachers are concerned about the nutritional health of students and the "state of health" of the school food environment. Dietetic and other health professionals who work in school settings should actively engage parents and teachers in the process of affecting and monitoring policies and practices that foster a healthy school food environment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kubik, MY; Lytle, LA; Story, M

Published Date

  • February 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 105 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 233 - 239

PubMed ID

  • 15668681

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15668681

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-8223

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jada.2004.11.007

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States