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What's for lunch: Identifying and comparing subnational jurisdictional approaches to school nutrition regulation in English-speaking Canada

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Title: What's for lunch: Identifying and comparing subnational jurisdictional approaches to school nutrition regulation in English-speaking Canada
Author: Holmes, Shawna
Department: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Program: Sociology
Advisor: Winson, Anthony
Abstract: The objective of this research was to understand why each of the ten provinces of Canada and Yukon Territory has a unique approach to regulating the sale of foods and beverages on school property and assess what each approach entails. Qualitative case-oriented comparison was used to examine the regulatory levers used in the school food environments for each of the ten provinces and Yukon Territory. Content analysis was performed on the regulatory documents as well as interview transcripts to identify the presence and absence of themes relevant to the regulation of the internal school food environment. Federalism, different origins, different objectives, different approaches to regulation including the decision to create policies or guidelines for school food environments resulted in unique content in the regulatory documents. The content analysis of the regulatory documents and semi-structured interview transcripts showed that there are a variety of aspects of the school food environment to be regulated and each subnational jurisdiction has its own priorities and resources to put toward the improvement of the school food environment. Each subnational jurisdiction is also facing a variety of barriers to successfully implementing the school nutrition regulations and achieving the objectives of them. Each of the subnational jurisdictions created its own school nutrition regulations that reflect national nutrition guidance, but also the needs of its population and the resources it has to address concerns in the internal school food environment. If the objectives of regulating the food and beverages available for sale in schools is to address the link between nutrition and health, and increasing student access to healthy food, then maintaining a market-based internal school food environment that requires revenue generation to sustain itself is barrier to successful implementation. A voluntary school meal program would bypass the barriers to successfully implementing school nutrition regulation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10084
Date: 2016-10
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