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School-based Interventions for Obesity


Letís Make Better Programs

St. Louis, MO - Thanks to the Letís Move initiative, society is becoming more aware of alarming statistics like 1 in 4 children are obese and childhood obesity has nearly doubled over the past two decades! With this platform, nutrition education and physical activity in the classroom have taken the forefront against this growing epidemic. A study in the January/February 2011 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior explores twenty-six school-based nutrition interventions in the United States.

Investigators performed a content analysis of Kindergarten-12th grade school-based nutrition interventions which fit into the studyís ten components proposed for developing future effective school-based nutrition interventions. Findings from this study reveal that classroom nutrition education (85%) followed by parental involvement at home (62%) were the two intervention components used most often. Less frequent components included establishment of foodservice guidelines (15%), community involvement (15%), inclusion of ethnic/cultural groups (15%), inclusion of incentives for schools (12%), and involvement of parents at school (8%).

This study documents that although many components of nutrition education have been successfully included in our childrenís school-based interventions, there are still some missing links. ďSchools continue to be an important location for childhood obesity prevention interventions. However, it is imperative that school-based interventions be developed and implemented to achieve maximum results. A periodic review of research on school-based nutrition interventions provides the opportunity to examine previous research and identify successful strategies and tactics for future studies that will lead to improved health outcomes in children,Ē says lead author Dr. Mary Roseman, who conducted this work while at the University of Kentucky and The University of Mississippi.

Unfortunately, there is limited research about the effectiveness of nutrition education interventions. Now, more than ever, this is an area of research that has to be investigated to ensure that we educate our children how to be healthy, productive adults. The researchers, which also included Dr. Martha Riddell, Registered Dietitian and Professor of Public Health at University of Kentucky, and Jessica Niblock, Registered Dietitian with the Cincinnati Health Department, agree. ďWith increased awareness, urgency, and funding to support nutrition interventions and research focusing on reversing the rising trend of overweight and obese children in the US, synthesizing findings from previous studies to inform research and program development, and identifying potentially high-impact strategies and tactics are warranted. The 10 recommendations evaluated in this study may be a functional guide for both educators implementing nutrition programs and researchers designing school-based nutrition interventions.Ē

The article emphasizes the importance of providing funding support so that more researchers can access the effectiveness of nutrition education in the classroom along with other links like cafeterias, homes, and communities.

The article is ďA Content Analysis of Kindergarten-12th Grade School-based Nutrition Interventions: Making Use of Past LearningĒ by Mary G. Roseman, PhD, RD, LD; Martha C. Riddell, DrPH, RD; Jessica N. Haynes, MS, RD, LD. It appears in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 43, Issue 1 (January/February 2011) published by Elsevier.

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Note to Editors
Full text of the article is available to journalists upon request; contact Nancy Burns at 314-447-8013 or to obtain copies. To schedule an interview with the authors please contact Dr. Mary Roseman by email at or by phone at 662-915-1902.

About The Authors
Mary G. Roseman, PhD, RD, LD; Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, University of Mississippi, University, MS

Martha C. Riddell, DrPH, RD; Department of Health Services Management, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Jessica N. Haynes, MS, RD, LD; Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati, OH

About The Journal Of Nutrition Education And Behavior (
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB), the official journal of the Society for Nutrition Education (SNE), is a refereed, scientific periodical that serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in nutrition education and dietary/physical activity behaviors. The purpose of JNEB is to document and disseminate original research, emerging issues, and practices relevant to nutrition education and behavior worldwide and to promote healthy, sustainable food choices. It supports the societyís efforts to disseminate innovative nutrition education strategies, and communicate information on food, nutrition, and health issues to students, professionals, policy makers, targeted audiences, and the public.

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior features articles that provide new insights and useful findings related to nutrition education research, practice, and policy. The content areas of JNEB reflect the diverse interests of health, nutrition, education, Cooperative Extension, and other professionals working in areas related to nutrition education and behavior. As the Societyís official journal, JNEB also includes occasional policy statements, issue perspectives, and member communications.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet ( and Cell (, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevierís online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect (, SciVerse Scopus (, Reaxys (, MD Consult ( and Nursing Consult (, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite ( and MEDaiís Pinpoint Review (, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier ( employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).


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