The primary goal of this project is to refine and disseminate a valid, reliable quantitative assessment tool to measure the implementation of school wellness policies use to meet the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act mandate to evaluate and report on wellness policy implementation. The research team previously developed the WellSAT tool to assess written school wellness policies and based on this tool developed the WellSAT-I (Implementation). The WellSAT-I is a prototype policy implementation measure, comprised of structured, coded interviews with principals, teachers, and food service personnel. Data have been collected using this measure in 12 schools over three years in an urban, lower-income school district, which will serve as the starting point for establishing reliability and validity of the tool. First, the research team will convene a national group of researchers and practitioners who are experts in the assessment and implementation of school wellness policies. The WellSAT-I will be refined based on psychometric analyses of reliability and validity and findings from the convening and other stakeholder perspectives. Next, the tool will be piloted in 50 school districts across the country. When finalized, the revised tool will be disseminated to researchers, state government agencies, advocacy groups, school administrators, parent groups, and other wellness policy stakeholders.
Refining and Disseminating a Valid, Reliable Quantitative Assessment Tool, WellSAT‑I, to Measure Implementation of School Wellness Policies
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More
Conducting a Large-Scale Surveillance of Public School Environments to Advance Wellness-Related Practices, With a Focus on Rural Schools
Rural disparities in health behaviors and weight status jeopardize the well-being of millions of Americans. Compared to urban children, rural children have higher rates of obesity and consume more calories, less fruit, and fewer vegetables. A health-promoting school environment can modify risk behaviors, and periodic assessment of school environments provides … More
CSPI developed a case study that provides insights into policy strategy and advocacy best practices that resulted in passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The case study outlines key lessons to help inform nutrition and public health policy initiatives, as well as continued implementation and defense of … More