Yetunde O. John-Akinola, MPH, PhD
Odunayo O. Akano, MPH
Oluwasegun Akinwale, MPH
In this study, we assessed children’s perception of healthy eating and investigated the contents of lunch boxes packed from home.
Overall, 728 pupils in first to sixth class across 25 primary schools in Ibadan, South West Nigeria wrote their perceptions of healthy eating on small colored papers. Contents of lunch boxes were observed during the school lunch period. Descriptive and qualitative analysis was carried out and data were represented in word clouds and figures.
Most pupils (97.9%) listed food items that they referred to as healthy food, represented in a word cloud. Further categorization showed that few pupils identified fruits (5.3%) and vegetables (2.4%) as healthy food. Pupils in private schools were 1.9 times more likely to have pastries in their lunch boxes than public schools (OR = 1.914, 95% CI: 1.121-3.268)
Multiple educational interventions should be targeted at the pupil-, parent-, and school-level to promote healthy eating behaviors. The use of communication materials with pictorial depiction of examples of healthy food could serve as a reinforcing factor to help maintain positive behavioral change.
India J. Ornelas, PhD, MPH
Kassia Rudd, MEd
Sonia Bishop, BS
Desiree Deschenie, BS
Emily Brown, MPH
Kevin Lombard, PhD
Shirley A. A. Beresford, PhD
Navajo children are at increased risk for obesity, in part due to limited access to healthy foods. School garden interventions increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables and consumption of healthy foods. Our study describes the development and pilot testing of a school garden intervention for Navajo elementary school children.
We reviewed existing school garden interventions and conducted formative research with students, caregivers, and school staff to inform the intervention. The intervention consisted of a garden built at the school and a yearlong curriculum on gardening and healthy eating. We pilot-tested the intervention in an elementary school on the Navajo Nation.
Formative research revealed the importance of incorporating Diné culture, including traditional growing practices and the preparation of traditional foods into the curriculum. School staff also stressed the value of tying the curriculum to state and Diné educational standards. Students enjoyed opportunities for hands-on activities and snack preparation.
Schools have a meaningful role to play in addressing childhood obesity disparities among Navajo children. School-based interventions that draw on cultural strengths and include healthy traditional practices can be a promising strategy for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
LinkedUp is a multi-sector partnership focused on linking older teens (ages 17-19) to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services at school-based health centers (SBHCs) in Mississippi. The purpose of this study was to examine key partnerships in LinkedUp development, focusing on community needs that initiated the formation of the partnership, and patterns of collaboration among these partners.
In 2018, researchers conducted interviews (N = 3) and focus groups (N = 9) with Mississippi school administrators and high school and college students. In 2019, evaluators examined collaboration between these community partners (N = 6) using an interorganizational network analysis survey.
Thematic analyses of qualitative data indicated a need to commit to linking older teens to SRH services by increasing communication/planning among community stakeholders. Network analysis scores included an average network density of 1, strength of tie of 3.04, and degree centrality of 4.6 (SD = 1.4) for partners.
Our findings illustrate how community stakeholders inform the development of a public health program as critical partners during both needs assessment and program development phases. This information can be used by practitioners and policymakers interested in addressing complex, community-level health issues.