Actively Involving Middle School Students in the Implementation of a Pilot of a Behavioral Economics–Based Lunchroom Intervention in Rural Schools

Natoshia M. Askelson, Patrick Brady, Grace Ryan, Cristian Meier, Cristina Ortiz, Carrie Scheidel, Patti Delger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

School-based interventions can play an important role in improving childhood and adolescent nutrition and preventing obesity. Schools offer a unique opportunity to implement policy, systems, and environmental interventions targeting healthy eating behaviors. An intervention was piloted in six middle schools featuring behavioral economics–based changes to the lunchroom, communication training, and communicate cues for food service staff. The pilot study employed a multicomponent evaluation with students and food service directors and staff including a lunchroom assessment, online surveys, production records, and interviews. Five schools increased their scores on the lunchroom assessment tool, and four schools increased the number of servings produced of healthy food items. Interviews with food service directors indicated the interventions was feasible and well received. School-based policy, systems, and environmental interventions targeting healthy eating behaviors may play a role in preventing obesity in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-683
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society for Public Health Education.

Keywords

  • PSE interventions
  • behavioral economics
  • rural schools
  • school lunch

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