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Keywords:

  • nutrition education;
  • nutrition policy;
  • public health;
  • school children

How to cite this article Middleton G., Keegan R. & Henderson H. (2012) A qualitative exploration of stakeholder perspectives on a school-based multi-component health promotion nutrition programme. J Hum Nutr Diet.

Abstract

Background:  Food for Fitness is an on-going multi-component health promotion programme, delivered in primary and secondary schools by community nutrition assistants. The programme uses nutritional interventions aimed at promoting healthier eating practices for children. This service evaluation investigated the receipt and delivery of the programme, as perceived by local stakeholders who had experienced and administered the service.

Methods:  Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were carried out with three key stakeholder groups: health professionals (n = 9), school teachers (n = 10) and senior health officials (n = 3). Qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and received thematic analysis with deductive and inductive processes.

Results:  Stakeholders reported that the programme contributed to the development of food education and healthy-eating practices of children in the local area. Stakeholders considered that the main concern was the limited capacity and size of the service. They described problems with long-term sustainability in supporting schools with maintaining nutritional interventions, highlighting issues regarding contact, planning and organisation of several interventions.

Conclusions:  The findings of the service evaluation inform service management, organisation and ground-level delivery. The use of stakeholder opinion provided contextualised information on the factors that impact on the implementation of the programme. The richness of the qualitative results can guide future planning and provision for similar health promotion nutrition programmes delivered in the school environment.