Start Date: January 2016

ID #: 73272

Principal Investigator: Lauren Au, PhD, RD

Organization: University of California

Funding Round: New Connections Round 8

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There is interest among school administrators, researchers, and policymakers for information to guide choices in selecting school-based nutrition interventions and efficiently allocating resources. This study will systematically evaluate the nutrition strategies that schools across the country have initiated for obesity prevention to determine which school nutrition programs and policies are associated with higher or lower rates of overweight and obesity and examine how disparities in program access and intensity might be related to obesity patterns. Specific aims of this study are to: 1) identify trends in the intensity of school nutrition programs and policies over the past 10 years in a national evaluation of elementary and middle schools in diverse communities, and 2) examine the association between the current school nutrition environment and children’s weight status by income and race/ethnicity. This study will use data from the Healthy Communities Study, which involved 130 U.S. communities, each including up to two elementary and two middle schools for a total of 490 schools and 5,100 students. Analysis will focus on weight status and school nutrition environment, including participation in federal and state nutrition programs, implementation of nutrition-related wellness policies, nutrition education, school meal environment, and competitive foods.

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