Use of a Model Wellness Policy May Not Increase the Strength and Comprehensiveness of Written School Wellness Policies.
child and adolescent health, nutrition and diet, physical fitness and sport, policy, school food service
BACKGROUND: Many state agencies have developed model wellness policies (MWPs) to serve as examples for schools when writing their own school wellness policy (SWP). The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a MWP aids schools in writing stronger, more comprehensive SWPs.
METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, 91 school districts submitted their current SWP and completed a survey that classified districts into either districts that utilized the state MWP (N = 56; 61.5%) or those that did not (NMWP, N =35; 38.5%). The Wellness School Assessment Tool (WellSAT) was used to assess the strength, comprehensiveness, total overall score, and subsection scores of each policy. Dependent variables were compared between groups using t tests. Statistical significance was set at p ≤ .05. Data are presented as mean ±SD.
RESULTS: No significant differences were found between groups in total overall (MWP 76.8 ± 37.9; NMWP 62.1 ± 34.3), strength (MWP 25.3 ± 17.6; NMWP 19.1 ± 12.8), or comprehensiveness scores (MWP 51.5 ± 21.2; NMWP 43.0 ± 22.1). The only subsection score difference identified between groups was the Nutrition Standards comprehension score (p = .02).
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest MWPs may not improve the quality of written SWPs. Further research is needed to better understand the needs of school districts in SWP development.
The Journal of School Health
DOI of Published Version
American School Health Association
Eggert, Erin; Overby, Hilary; McCormack, Lacey; and Meendering, Jessica, "Use of a Model Wellness Policy May Not Increase the Strength and Comprehensiveness of Written School Wellness Policies." (2018). Health and Nutritional Sciences Faculty Publications. 71.