Policy, systems, and environmentally oriented school-based obesity prevention: Opportunities and challenges

Michael C. Fagen*, Yuka Asada, Sarah Welch, Rachael Dombrowski, Kelsey Gilmet, Christina Welter, Lori Stern, Gina Massuda Barnett, Maryann Mason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public health is increasingly emphasizing policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change as a key strategy for population-level health promotion and disease prevention. When applied to childhood obesity, this strategy typically involves school systems, since children spend large portions of their days in school and are heavily influenced by this environment. While most school systems have implemented nutrition education and physical activity programs for some time, their understanding and use of PSE approaches to obesity prevention is accelerating based on several large federally funded initiatives. As part of one initiative's evaluation, key informant interviews reveal the specific obesity prevention PSE strategies schools are attempting and the corresponding barriers and facilitators to their implementation. These evaluation findings raise several fundamental issues regarding school-based obesity prevention, including the potential role of school personnel, the influence of grant funding on school health initiatives, and the fit between public health and educational priorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-111
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

Keywords

  • obesity prevention
  • policy, systems, and environment change
  • school health promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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