Allowing and Using Foods of Low Nutritional Value in Elementary School Classrooms: The Implications of Teachers' Beliefs

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objective:

To investigate elementary teachers' behavior toward allowing and using foods with low nutritional value in the classroom.

Design/Setting:

A survey guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior was administered in fall, 2012 in 10 schools.

Participants:

Elementary public school teachers in grades pre-kindergarten through 6.

Main Outcome Measures:

Teachers' behavior and beliefs regarding allowing and using foods with low nutritional value in the classroom and Theory of Planned Behavior determinants.

Analysis:

Pairwise correlation coefficients and multivariate linear regression to assess relationships between theory determinants and descriptive statistics.

Results:

All 3 determinants, Attitude Toward the Behavior (t = 4.04; P < .01), Subjective Norms (t = 3.78; P < .01), and Perceived Behavioral Control (t = 5.19; p < .01), were statistically significant predictors of behavior. The majority of teachers (94%) allowed foods of low nutritional value for celebrations at least some of the time, and 75% stated that they had control over what foods they allow.

Conclusions and Implications:

Discussions among teachers and school health professionals should ensue to improve nutritional content of foods allowed in classrooms. School policies can be developed and evaluated for effectiveness to have a positive impact on childhood obesity and school nutrition environments.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles