Poster Paper: Intermediate Health Impact Analysis to Inform Policy Change for School Nutrition Programs in Orange County

Sunday, April 9, 2017
University of California, Riverside

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Mona Siddique, Eric Raktiprakorn, Elif Selin Ekmen Ucev and Alper Rutbil, University of California, Irvine
There is a general consensus among academics, practitioners, policymakers, and parents that school nutrition and wellness programs positively impact children physically and mentally. Proper nutritional intake and nutritional education can have lasting impacts on a child’s development both inside and outside of the classroom, leading to better academic performance and important life skills. Thus, investing in the ‘whole child’ through strong nutrition policy should be acknowledged by relevant stakeholders as an urgent policy agenda item, and policy changes should be initiated at the local level for efficient and effective results. Designing and implementing these programs, however, has been challenging, especially in school districts which serve vulnerable student populations. In a racially and economically diverse state like California, equity and inclusion become important factors in public education, and understanding constraints in serving vulnerable student populations will allow for evidence-based policy and actions that can create visible changes at the local level. To this end, Orange County Food Access Coalition (OCFAC) promotes and advocates for comprehensive and strong nutrition policies and programs in local school districts. This study is a collaborative project between OCFAC and UC Irvine MPP that aims to illustrate the importance of comprehensive school nutrition policy at the local level. By conducting an Intermediate Health Impact Analysis, this study will provide evidence-based policy recommendations and demonstrate the need for comprehensive nutrition programs for the Anaheim Elementary School District. Multiple publically available data sources will be used to statistically and spatially analyze the data; tables, graphs, and maps will be generated for explanatory purposes and to reach a wide-range of stakeholders and practitioners.