The importance of parents and teachers as stakeholders in school-based healthy eating programs

Middleton, Geoff, Evans, Adam B., Keegan, Richard , Bishop, Daniel and Evans, Donna (2014) The importance of parents and teachers as stakeholders in school-based healthy eating programs. In: Health education: parental and educators' perpectives, current practices and needs assessment. Health Care Issues, Costs and Access . NOVA Science Publishers, New York. ISBN 9781629482064

The Importance of Parents and Teachers As Stakeholders in School-Based Healthy Eating Programs
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Item Type:Book Section
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Schools have a crucial role for promoting and establishing healthy behaviors early in the life-course. In recent years, a substantial effort and resources have been invested in attempts to change the 'food culture' in schools in westernized societies. Large school-based programs which promote healthy eating often utilize an ecological model for instigating behavior change amongst school children. An ecological model is a set of comprehensive intervention strategies that target a multitude of factors which influence the eating practices of children in the school setting. The cultural issues that necessitate these healthy eating programs mean that interventions are not without challenges to their application and effectiveness particularly as they rely on collaboration between stakeholders: teachers, parents, public health practitioners, policy makers and more. The stakeholder input and relations are key parts of planning, implementing and evaluating complex health promotion and education programs in schools. This commentary will outline the importance of considering both teachers and parents as influencing agents or 'enablers' in the process of creating change in this context. Parental perceptions and teachers’ insights are critical for underpinning intervention feasibility, acceptability and performance. Their perceptions and understandings can provide ground-level and highly applicable expertise and importantly motivate children in the school environment. The philosophical principles behind parent and teacher integration into formal program evaluation are discussed, providing a theoretical basis for program evaluation. Recommendations are made for policy makers, researchers and professional evaluation experts’ to consider and integrate these stakeholders in future programs.

Keywords:School food, Food policy, Social agents, Nutritional interventions
Subjects:L Social studies > L510 Health & Welfare
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:11965
Deposited On:03 Oct 2013 13:01

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