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Information for School Boards


The School Nutrition and Activity Project (SNAP) is an important research project, based at UPEI and the University of Alberta. It started in our schools in 2007 and measures the impact of school nutrition policies on Island children’s nutrition, activity, and heights and weights. It focuses on children in grades five and six.

The next phase of the project is about to start. Just as we did in 2007, we are about to collect data from grade five and six students in every school – surveying what they eat and their level of activity, and measuring their heights and weights. We will be able to see if these grade five and six students are significantly different from those we sampled in 2007, to help us determine what, if any impact, the nutrition policies adopted by the Island school boards are having.

This data collection is set to take place in early March in elementary and consolidated schools in the Western School Board, and after March Break in the Eastern School District. As in 2007, there is also a parent survey and a principal’s School Food Survey, which will be distributed and collected in conjunction with this phase of the project – once again measuring changes.
Parental consent is necessary for a student to participate. Envelopes with consent forms, and parent survey, will be delivered to each school to be sent home with each grade five and six student. When they are returned, teachers merely have to send the returned envelopes to the school office. They will be picked up there by a research assistant, who will determine which students have consent. This process will begin very soon. The principal’s School Food Survey will also be distributed and collected by the research assistant at these times.

As in the previous data collection, principals and teachers will be sent information letters and contacted by the SNAP project manager to determine dates for data collection and confirm procedures.

Once again, privacy is a major concern in this data collection. The data collection teams will weigh and measure students in a private area. Students will not have access to their own or anyone else’s height and weight measurements. The whole process takes approximately 45 minutes per class.
This research project has been approved by the UPEI Research Ethics Committee, and has been approved and supported by the Eastern School District and Western School Boards, for which we are very grateful.