Objective: To identify barriers to and facilitators of healthful eating and physical activity in low-income schools as perceived by school-affiliated staff.
Methods: Perceptions of barriers and facilitators were measured in low-income schools through two online surveys (Kindergarten-8th grade and high school). Sixty-nine (Kindergarten-8th grade) and 22 (high school) responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and frequency distributions.
Results: Respondents felt students received too little nutrition education, physical activity, and physical education. Time within the school day and lack of funds were barriers. Family programs were highest rated for increasing nutrition education yet reported as implemented the least.
Conclusions and implications: Schools are a logical place to promote healthful eating and physical activity; however, time within the school day and lack of funds are major barriers for low-income schools. Health professionals can respect these barriers by holding programs outside of classroom time and finding ways to involve families (eg, during school events).
Copyright © 2011 Society for Nutrition Education. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.