Unbound MEDLINE

Implementing childhood obesity policy in a new educational environment: the cases of Mississippi and Tennessee.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES
Our purpose was to investigate the processes involved in, and outcomes of, implementing 3 new state-level, school-oriented childhood obesity policies enacted between 2004 and 2007.
METHODS
We followed policy implementation in 8 high schools in Mississippi and Tennessee. We collected data between 2006 and 2009 from interviews with policymakers, administrators, teachers, and students; observations of school-based activities; and documents.
RESULTS
Significant barriers to the effective implementation of obesity-related policies emerged. These most notably include a value system that prioritizes performances in standardized tests over physical education (PE) and a varsity sport system that negatively influences opportunities for PE. These and other factors, such as resource constraints and the overloading of school administrators with new policies, mitigate against the implementation of policies designed to promote improvements in student health through PE.
CONCLUSIONS
Policies designed to address health and social problems in high-school settings face significant barriers to effective implementation. To have a broad impact, obesity-related policies must be tied to mainstream educational initiatives that both incentivize, and hold accountable, the school-level actors responsible for their implementation.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Amis JM, Wright PM, Dyson B, Vardaman JM, Ferry H

    Institution

    Department of Management, Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA. johnamis@memphis.edu

    Source

    American journal of public health 102:7 2012 Jul pg 1406-13

    MeSH

    Child
    Educational Measurement
    Health Policy
    Humans
    Longitudinal Studies
    Mississippi
    Obesity
    Physical Education and Training
    Policy Making
    Schools
    Sports
    Tennessee

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22420819