Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences


Focus group research was conducted to develop insight into participants’ perceptions on challenges that exist in implementing a healthy school environment. Seventy-one individuals participated in one of seven focus group discussions. Participants were distinguished by ones position in their respective school or community, including: Administrators, Elementary/Special Education teachers, High School/Middle School/ FACS teachers, Health/PE teachers, School Nurses/Counselors, School Food Service personnel, and Community members. Findings showed that all groups agreed that obesity and inactivity were primary health issues among youth. Lack of time, limited or lack of space for physical activity, school budgets, portion control, quality of school lunch programs and lack of education in the areas of nutrition and basic skills were contributing factors. When asked what is needed to address challenges; role modeling by adults, wellness programs, community involvement/support, and a focus or priority on nutrition and physical activity in schools were expressed. This study was conducted as part of training institute for South Dakota schools, funded in part, through a USDA Team Nutrition Grant.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

School children -- Health and hygiene -- South Dakota

School children -- Nutrition -- South Dakota

Health education



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright