Factors and barriers associated with early adoption of nutrition guidelines in Alberta, Canada

J Nutr Educ Behav. Nov-Dec 2013;45(6):510-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2013.04.002. Epub 2013 Jun 21.


Objective: To identify factors that influenced early adoption and implementation of the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth (ANGCY) in schools in Alberta, Canada; and to identify healthy eating strategies that were implemented as a result of the guidelines. Barriers and facilitators were also investigated.

Design: Multiple case study design (n = 3). Semi-structured interviews and direct observations were used to collect data.

Setting and participants: Three schools in Alberta were selected for individual case studies. Eighteen key informants were interviewed from the 3 cases.

Phenomenon of interest: To investigate how the motivation shown by school administration and stakeholders for the ANGCY influenced the early adoption and implementation of the guidelines.

Analysis: Content analysis was used to analyze data.

Results: Various healthy eating strategies were implemented within the 3 cases after uptake of the guidelines. Support from the school superintendent and the work of a health champion facilitated the adoption and implementation of the guidelines, whereas parents posed some barriers to the adoption and implementation of the ANGCY.

Conclusions and implications: This study reinforces the importance of identifying a health champion to oversee healthy eating strategies in schools, and of involving parents in the promotion of children's healthy lifestyles.

Keywords: case studies; nutrition guidelines; nutrition sciences; overweight; public health; schools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alberta
  • Food Services
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Health Promotion* / organization & administration
  • Health Promotion* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Public Health
  • Schools* / organization & administration
  • Schools* / statistics & numerical data