Moving Forward with School Nutrition Policies: A Case Study of Policy Adherence in Nova Scotia.
Sommaire de l'article
Many Canadian school jurisdictions have developed nutrition policies to promote health and improve the nutritional status of children, but research is needed to clarify adherence, guide practice-related decisions, and move policy action forward. The purpose of this research was to evaluate policy adherence with a review of online lunch menus of elementary schools in Nova Scotia (NS) while also providing transferable evidence for other jurisdictions. School menus in NS were scanned and a list of commonly offered items were categorized, according to minimum, moderate, or maximum nutrition categories in the NS policy. The results of the menu review showed variability in policy adherence that depended on food preparation practices by schools. Although further research is needed to clarify preparation practices, the previously reported challenges of healthy food preparations (e.g., cost, social norms) suggest that many schools in NS are likely not able to use these healthy preparations, signifying potential noncompliance to the policy. Leadership and partnerships are needed among researchers, policy makers, and nutrition practitioners to address the complexity of issues related to food marketing and social norms that influence school food environments to inspire a culture where healthy and nutritious food is available and accessible to children.