A comparison of Texas not-for-profit private and public middle schools' efforts to promote healthy eating behaviors
The purpose of this study was to compare Texas not-for-profit private and public middle schools' efforts to promote healthy eating behaviors. Mail and web surveys were used to obtain data from public school directors of child nutrition and private school principals. Of the 208 surveys that were returned, 198 were summarized and analyzed. Schools were divided into three groups: public schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), not-for-profit private schools that participate in the NSLP, and not-for-profit private schools that do not participate in the NSLP. Significant associations were found between school types and the following: presence of a Local School Wellness Policy, vending machine access policies, foods offered in vending machines, foods offered in the lunch line, frequency of offering nutrition education, and marketing communication materials used. Overall, public schools promoted healthy eating behaviors more often than private schools when comparing the above mentioned variables.