Implementation of Coordinated School Health and Local Wellness Policies in Schools in Texas

Claire Evelyn Niday, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Texas children spend at least 1,260 hours and consume up to half of their daily calories in a school setting. Therefore, it is important to have a healthy school atmosphere in which to promote the health of students, which is the goal of local wellness policies (LWP) and coordinated school health programs (CSHP). The purpose of this project was to better understand the level of awareness and degree of implementation of LWPs and CSHPs, as well as the perceived benefits, enablers, and barriers of the implementation process for LWPs and CSHPs within school districts. Qualitative interviews were conducted with elementary school nutrition department personnel to gather information regarding their experiences with LWPs and CSHPs. All respondents were familiar with the required policies in their district and had implemented these policies to some degree but few participated in CSHPs to assist in the implementation of these policies. The most common barriers sighted, regarding lack of policy and program implementation, included lack of time and resources as well as lack of student support for changes. While some food service staff members did not perceive an increase in the overall healthiness of the students, all respondents reported an increase in students’ fruit and vegetable intake after policy and program implementation. Promising results demonstrate the positive impact such policies and programs could have on our students. However, lack of robust implementation and use of these tools could limit the scope and intensity of these benefits. Efforts should be made to assist schools in effective policy and program installment so our students can properly benefit.

Subject Area

Public health|Health education

Recommended Citation

Niday, Claire Evelyn, "Implementation of Coordinated School Health and Local Wellness Policies in Schools in Texas" (2017). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10276053.