The Michigan Healthy School Action Tools (HSAT) is an online self-assessment and action planning process for schools seeking to improve their health policies and practices. This study evaluated whether undertaking the Michigan HSAT process and receiving assistance from a facilitator and a small amount of grant funding resulted in (1) improvements in school nutrition practices and policies among low-income middle schools and (2) improvements in students dietary intake. Schools completing the HSAT were compared to schools that did not complete the HSAT with regard to number of policy and practice changes and student dietary intake. Intervention schools convened a Coordinated School Health Team, which completed the assessment, identified potential interventions, and received $1,000 to implement nutrition education or nutrition marketing activities. Schools that completed the HSAT made significantly more nutrition practice/education changes than schools that did not complete the HSAT, and students in those schools made dietary improvements in fruit, fiber, and cholesterol intake. This research indicates that school personnel should be encouraged to use assessment and action planning processes, because school health assessments effectively capture information about school nutrition needs, challenges, and resources, and help schools make data-driven decisions when working to implement positive changes.
The Michigan Healthy School Action Tools Process Generates Improvements in School Nutrition Policies and Practices, and Student Dietary Intake
Effects of Changes in Lunch-Time Competitive Foods, Nutrition Practices, and Nutrition Policies on Low-Income Middle-School Children’s Diets
This article discusses the results of the School Nutrition Advances Kids (SNAK) project which examined the effectiveness of various nutrition interventions on the diets of lower-income middle school students in Michigan. Schools were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: 1) completed an assessment of nutrition education policies and … More
Evaluating the Impact of Two School Nutrition Policy and Environmental Interventions on Low-Income Middle-School Students in Michigan
The primary goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of two interventions on improved nutrition behaviors among low-income students. These on-going interventions have been initiated by key stakeholder groups in response to current school nutrition/wellness legislation. In the first intervention, low-income middle schools will receive access to comprehensive … More
Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to … More