PLoS One. Published online Nov Chriqui , 1 , 2 and Frank J. Chriqui Frank J. Chaloupka Andrea S. Received Apr 26; Accepted Oct

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PLoS One. Published online Nov Chriqui , 1 , 2 and Frank J. Chriqui Frank J. Chaloupka Andrea S. Received Apr 26; Accepted Oct This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Objectives We examined whether state laws and district policies pertaining to nutritional restrictions on school fundraisers were associated with school policies as reported by administrators in a nationally-representative sample of United States public elementary schools.

Methods We gathered data on school-level fundraising policies via a mail-back survey during the —10 and —11 school years. Data were also gathered on corresponding school district policies and state laws. After removing cases with missing data, the sample size for analysis was 1, schools. However, even where district policies and state laws required fundraising restrictions, school policies were not uniformly present; school policies were also in place at only Conclusions District policies and state laws were associated with a higher prevalence of elementary school-level fundraising policies, but many schools that were subject to district policies and state laws did not have school-level restrictions in place, suggesting the need for further attention to factors hindering policy implementation in schools.

Introduction In recent years, the school food environment has been a focal point in efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic [1] — [4]. With recent estimates showing that one-third of children ages 6—11 years old in the United States U.

Foods and beverages sold in schools are generally broken into two categories: 1 school meals; and 2 competitive foods, which include all foods and beverages sold or offered to students outside of the meals programs.

Competitive foods and beverages are widely available in schools [7] , [8]. Although many studies have examined the availability of competitive foods and beverages in tradition sales venues [10] — [18] , less work has examined the prevalence and characteristics of school fundraising activities, or the extent to which school fundraising practices are associated with policy restrictions on items sold through fundraisers.

Nationwide data suggest that school fundraisers are common in the U. Although, the evidence specifically relating to fundraisers is fairly limited thus far, research suggests that school fundraisers may be associated with student weight outcomes.

Kubik and colleagues [20] found that in Minnesota middle schools, school practices—including fundraising—were associated with student body mass index BMI.

Higher scores on a school food practices scale that included classroom and school-wide fundraising activities as well as allowing foods and beverages in the classroom, snacks and beverages in hallways, and food-based rewards were associated with higher student BMI scores [20]. However, the specific association between fundraising activities and student BMI was not examined. With regard to strategies for improving school fundraising practices, some work in secondary schools has established a link between fundraising policies and school practices.

Healthful fundraising policies were associated with school practices, and there was a greater concordance between school fundraising policies and practices in middle schools than in high schools [21]. However, while it is clear that fundraising activities are a source of high-calorie foods and beverages in elementary schools [10] , thus far little attention has been paid to the relationship between policy efforts to change school food-related fundraising and implementation at the elementary-school level.

State-specific research has shown that policy strategies can impact school practices. For example, the Arkansas Act of —one of the first and most comprehensive state laws to combat childhood obesity—created a statewide health advisory committee to develop specific recommendations for nutrition in schools, and also required school districts to establish committees to develop locally-relevant policies for schools.

In recent years, increasing attention has been directed to the potential for state laws and school district policies to play a role in promoting healthy school environments.

In the U. Each local school district was responsible for establishing the guidelines, allowing for much variability in policy focus, strength and implementation. Further refinements in district policies are expected, following the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of [24] , which continues to require district wellness policies. Currently, the only USDA regulation regarding competitive foods is a prohibit on the sale of foods of minimal nutritional value FMNVs —a category that includes carbonated soft drinks and sodas, as well as certain candies— in the cafeteria during meals, but these items may be sold elsewhere at school even during lunch [6].

The current study uses cross-sectional data from a nationally-representative sample of U. Methods Data on school practices were gathered via mail-back survey. Data on corresponding district policies and state laws were gathered via commercially available public-use sources as described below. A waiver of documentation of informed consent was granted, as consent was implied by return of the survey.

School-Level Data Sampling and Weighting For each year, a different sample of schools was used, and each of the samples were developed at the Institute for Survey Research at the University of Michigan and were designed to be nationally-representative of U. School weights were developed and adjusted for non-response bias.

Procedure Surveys were mailed to school principals in January of each school year, with subsequent follow-up by mail, e-mail and telephone until recruitment ended in June of each year. The instructions requested that the survey be completed by the principal or other staff with knowledge of school practices pertaining to student health.

Surveys were processed and double-entered for quality assurance. Measures Information on school fundraising restrictions was gathered with three survey items. Contextual Factors School-level demographic and socioeconomic data were obtained from public use data files from the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data — These variables were used as covariates in regression analyses.

All district policies were reviewed and double-coded and analyzed by two trained researchers using an adaptation of a coding scheme developed by Schwartz and colleagues [26] and presented by Chriqui and colleagues [27] , [28]. In addition, policy codes for two specific nutrition standards were used in the current analyses, candy and regular soda, each coded for whether the policy applied specifically to items sold as fundraisers. State Law Data Collection State laws, effective as of the beginning of September of each school year were compiled through natural language and Boolean keyword searches of the full-text, tables of contents, and indices of codified state statutory and administrative regulatory laws commercially available from subscription-based legal research providers, Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis.

State laws were coded using the same methods and coding rubric as described above for district policies.

Data Analysis The initial sample included schools. At 31 schools, the survey item on school-level fundraising restrictions was skipped, and at 28 schools, district policy data were not available schools within 26 unique districts. At four schools, data were unavailable on free and reduced lunch eligibility a covariate , thus the final sample size for analyses reported here was reduced to schools. Analyses were conducted with the data treated as a stacked cross-sectional dataset, controlling for year.

Data were weighted to provide inference to all public elementary schools in the U. First, the sample characteristics were tabulated Table 1. Then the prevalence of school policy status was tabulated; based on cross-tabulation of the collapsed binary district policy variables and the binary state law variables, each school was classified into one of four mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories for each fundraising policy category of interest i. Then, the relationships between state law and school policies and between district and school policies were examined with a series of multivariate logistic regressions that included a set of three variables to account for district policy and state law Table 3.

Each school variable was matched to the relevant policy dimension i. Table 3 also presents predicted margins, which equal the adjusted prevalence of schools that placed restrictions on fundraisers within each policy category i.

Standard errors were adjusted to account for the sampling variability of the covariates in the model. Table 1 Characteristics of the school sample, —11 school years.


PTO Today Q&A

Choose one involving food or not involving food—whatever you and the other leaders decide best fits your group. Community Advice ghkunkel writes: Craig, thank you for your response. Yes, the guide provides some great ideas, but I want to know what other schools are doing to raise important funds for school academics and activities, but in a way that does not promote food. I am especially concerned since my kids are entering school.


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Skip to main content. Raising Healthy Active Kids. Every Body is Good. Implementation Tools and Resources. New resources for school food service.



This fall, Bethel Park School Cafeterias are meeting tough new federal nutrition standards for school meals. Click here to learn more. Read More Forms are available under "Quick Links" to the right. Parents who opt to pay with a credit card will be charged 5.

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