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Effects of Increased Communication About Child Nutrition on Students', Parents', and Faculties' Satisfaction with School Lunch

Billings, Haley
Participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) increases school age students' nutritional quality and is encouraged as a strategy to promote healthy weight. Participation is related to satisfaction with and awareness of the program's benefits. Schools frequently fall short of communicating the benefits to key stakeholders. Less is known about parents' perceptions of childhood obesity and schools' role to offer healthy food and influence on satisfaction with school meals. The study's aim was to determine if a one-year intervention aimed at increasing schools' communications with stakeholder groups regarding NLSP affected satisfaction. Statistical analysis was conducted for each stakeholder group using Independent sample t-test. A secondary aim investigated parents' and faculties' perceptions of childhood obesity and schools' role to provide healthy food and NSLP satisfaction. Statistical analysis was conducted utilizing ANOVA followed by Tukey post-hoc analysis for significant results. Schools participating in the Cooking for Kids chef consulting program conducted an average of 5.9 communication activities. Surveys were administered to parents, faculty, and students at pre- and post-intervention. Almost half of parents and three-fourths of faculty reported awareness of one or more communication activities, with .62 and 1.42 average activities, respectively. There was a significant increase in parent satisfaction, with no change among faculty and small but significant decreases in elementary students and no change in middle and high school students. Satisfaction was significantly related to perception of childhood obesity and perception of the role of the school to provide food that promotes health for parents, but not for faculty.