State Agency Support of Weight-Related School Policy Implementation

Katherine Y. Grannon, Nicole Larson, Jennifer Pelletier, Michael J. O'Connell, Marilyn S. Nanney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: In this study, we describe state agency strategies to support weight-related policy implementation in schools, and examine the association among state support, obesity prevalence, and strength of state policies governing school nutrition and physical education. METHODS: The 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study describes prevalence of implementation support state agencies provided to schools/districts. Implementation support items were analyzed by weight-related policy area (eg, advertising, wellness policy) and by type of support (eg, technical assistance). Results were summed to create a total weight-related policy support score. Linear regression was used to examine associations between policy support and state youth obesity prevalence (2011-2012 National Survey for Children's Health), overall and stratified by state policy strength (2012 Classification of Laws Associated with School Students). RESULTS: States provided support most commonly for school meals and wellness policies (89% and 81%, respectively) and least often for after-school PE (26%). Most states (80%) provided technical assistance. The total weight-related policy support score had a significant positive association with state-level youth overweight/obesity prevalence (p =.03). CONCLUSION: State agencies appear to be responding to their youth obesity prevalence with technical support. Schools and state agencies should work in collaboration to provide a healthy school environment for all students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-692
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
for the School Obesity-related Policy Evaluation (ScOPE) study is provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PI: Marilyn Nanney; grant #5R01HD070738). All authors have no financial disclosures to report.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, American School Health Association


  • school health
  • school policy
  • technical assistance
  • youth obesity


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