Student, Parent and Staff Perceptions of the Food Environment in a Nova Scotia Public Elementary School
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This study qualitatively explored how students, parents and school staff perceived the role that the school food environment played in student eating behaviour, how the Food and Nutrition Policy for Nova Scotia Public Schools impacted the food environment. This study looked at one public elementary school from Nova Scotia through a focus group with 6 grade five students, and individual interviews with 6 parents and 11 school staff members. Under the constructivist paradigm, the methodology chosen was social constructionism using constant comparative analysis. Significant themes that emerged from the data included: schools have a role in children’s eating habits; school culture is important for supporting a healthy food environment; and the food brought from home is the unhealthiest part of the school food environment. This research contributes to knowledge on the school’s impact on student eating behaviour, effectiveness of the policy, and the development of future research.