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What is Unique About the Study

What is unique about the SNAP Project?

This is the first Canadian study to evaluate school adherence to a nutrition policy and relate it to children’s dietary habits and weight status. We will be able to find out whether children attending schools who adhere more closely to school nutrition policies have healthier eating habits or lower rates of obesity than students at schools not following the school nutrition policies as closely.
We are not only assessing children’s usual food consumption over a week, but are also examining the nutritional quality of foods consumed at school according to the source of the food. This will allow us to determine whether foods sold at school are more- or less- healthy than the foods children bring from home.
Both qualitative (interviews and focus groups) and quantitative (surveys, weight/height measurements) methods are being used, which will allow us to both describe children’s eating behaviours and body weights and understand the unique perspective of parents, children, teachers and principals regarding the school nutrition policies.
Information collected through SNAP will be useful to schools, school districts, parents and policy makers. The PEI Healthy Eating Alliance will also be able to provide more effective support to schools implementing school nutrition policies. We will discover if nutrition policies at the school level make a difference in children’s health, and which factors make it easier or harder for schools to implement the policies.
We have a strong team which has been working on planning and implementing SNAP since 2006: Dr Jennifer Taylor and Dr Paul Veugelers are co-principal investigators; Dr Debbie MacLellan, Dr Mary McKenna and Bob Gray are co-investigators. Our Project Manager is Kimberley Hernandez.