Healthy Eating in Schools: Evidence-Based Interventions to Help Kids Thrive
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
Concern over increased childhood obesity has spurred various school-based interventions. However, these interventions often have little positive effect and may inadvertently contribute to unhealthy behaviors during weight loss attempts. Indeed, a general emphasis on appearance and weight (rather than health) can promote eating disordered behaviors.
This book provides a conceptual model for understanding both obesity and eating disordered behaviors. Specifically, it advocates for body acceptance and intuitive eating — a flexible, healthy eating behavior involving awareness of the body's hunger and satiety cues.
Within this context, the chapters review evidence-based school interventions in nutrition, self-regulation, exercise, body acceptance, media literacy, and mindfulness. Guidance is also provided for identifying, referring, and supporting students with emerging eating disorders.
Without empirically supported guidance, schools run the risk of implementing ineffective or harmful programming in an effort to do good. Thus, this book is a much needed resource for teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses, and other school personnel.
I. Conceptual Framework
- Defining Healthy and Intuitive Eating
- Why We Eat the Way We Do: The Role of Personal and External Factors
II. The Healthy Student Approach
- Rationale for a Three-Pillar Approach
- Pillar I: Intuitive Eating and Nutrition
- Pillar II: Healthy Physical Activity
- Pillar III: Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Emotional Regulation
III. School-Based Interventions and Policies
- Preventative Intervention: Media Literacy, Body Image, Body Tolerance, and Self-Regulated Eating
- Screening, Assessing, and Supporting Students With Eating and Body Image Problems
- Federal School Food Policies and Professional Guidelines
Appendix A: Definitions of Uncommon Disorders of Eating
Appendix B: Children's Eating Attitudes Test
Appendix C: Intuitive Eating Scale for Adolescents
Appendix D: Body Appreciation Scale
Appendix E: Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3 (SATAQ-3; Adolescent Version)
Suggested Resources for School Personnel on Healthy Eating
About the Authors
Catherine Cook-Cottone, PhD, is an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She has published more than 45 research articles and book chapters and has made numerous national and international presentations. Her primary research trajectory is in the area of eating disorders. She is also a certified school psychologist, licensed psychologist, and certified yoga teacher with a private practice that serves patients with eating disorders.
Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, is an award-winning registered dietitian, with a nutrition counseling practice, specializing in eating disorders and intuitive eating in Newport Beach, California. She has written seven books, including Intuitive Eating (coauthored with Elyse Resch).
Tracy Tylka, PhD, is an associate professor at The Ohio State University. She has published 29 empirical articles and book chapters on body image and eating behavior, often exploring how they intersect. She studies both positive and negative body image as well as adaptive and maladaptive eating. She has made numerous national and international presentations and she is an associate editor for Body Image: An International Journal of Research and a guest editor for three special issues on gendered body image that will appear in Sex Roles: A Journal of Research.
School personnel at every level would be wise to read this book in order to create a truly informed and evidence-based program of healthy eating and food awareness. Similarly, the many recommendations found in the book are relevant at elementary, middle and secondary school grades.
—New England Psychologist
This helpful book provides ideas on healthy eating for school personnel to implement in their schools. It introduces the "Healthy Student Approach," which is a holistic way of addressing obesity. Given the poor eating habits of many students, the book helps school personnel guide these young people in making better choices.
—Doody’s Review Service