Ensuring safe, accessible drinking water in schools is a national health priority. The objective of this study was to identify whether there are differences in water quality, availability, and education- related practices in schools by demographic characteristics. In 2017–2018, we analyzed data from the 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS), a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of US schools. Analyses examined differences in water-related practices by school characteristics. Response rates for the 3 questionnaires used in this analysis ranged from 69%–94% (Ns ranged from 495 to 577). We found that less than half of schools flush drinking water outlets after periods of non-use (46.4%), conduct periodic inspections that test drinking water outlets for lead (45.8%), and require staff training on drinking water quality (25.6%). Most schools teach the importance of water consumption (81.1%) and offer free drinking water in the cafeteria (88.3%). Some water-related school practices differed by school demographic characteristics though no consistent patterns of associations by school characteristics emerged. In US schools, some water quality-related practices are limited, but water availability and education-related practices are more common. SHPPS data suggest many schools would benefit from support to implement best practices related to school-drinking water.
Examining differences in the implementation of school water-quality practices and water-access policies by school demographic characteristics
Examining Differences by Social and Demographic Characteristics of Schools in the Implementation of Water-Quality Practices and Water-Access Policies
Ensuring safe, accessible drinking water in schools is a national health priority. Students in schools that provide free water consume more water, potentially replacing sugar-containing beverages and promoting a healthy weight. The aims of this study are to: 1) identify whether practices related to school water quality, availability, and education … More
Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding
Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused … More
Promoting Responsive Bottle-Feeding Within WIC: Evaluation of a Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Approach
Bottle-fed infants are at greater risk for overfeeding and rapid weight gain (RWG), so evidence-based strategies for promoting healthy bottle-feeding practices are needed. The aim of this study was to assess whether policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies for promoting responsive bottle-feeding practices within the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for … More