School Wellness Teams: What Professions/Credentials are Represented?

By Lorri Kanauss.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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This study investigated the professions/credentials represented on school wellness teams in relation to initial requirements. A cross-sectional design was used for this study. School foodservice directors responded to questions involving school wellness teams’ policies and composition. School districts with an enrollment of 2,500 or more from the six Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin were electronically surveyed in this study. A total of 771 surveys were sent with a 36 percent response rate. Two hundred and twenty-three school foodservice directors answered questions regarding their schools' wellness team. Frequencies of fifteen professions/credentials were assessed. Additionally, wellness teams were analyzed to determine those with all of the initial required professions/credentials of parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators, and community members. Eighty-one percent of those who responded indicated that their district had a wellness team. Of those who responded as having a wellness team, only 9 percent had all of the initial required representatives involved. These results indicate that public health professionals need to take an active role in school wellness team formation and composition as 19 percent of Midwestern schools in the study indicated not having a wellness team. Critical limitations noted are geographic region and school enrollment size.

Keywords: Wellness Teams, School Wellness, Public Health

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.85-93. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 646.248KB).

Dr. Lorri Kanauss

Professor, Dietetics, Fashion Merchandising, and Hospitality Department, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IlIinois, USA