Bettina M. Beech

In Funded Scholars
Bettina M. Beech
Bettina M. Beech

Bettina M.

Beech

DrPH

Professor and Program Director
Wake Forest University, School of Medicine

Project Description

Background: Universal prevention strategies targeting children have been predominately tested in school settings; only two of these intervention trials in the US have resulted in reducing BMI relative to controls. Although some progress has been achieved in the treatment of childhood obesity, the intensity and expense of these interventions reduce the likelihood of widespread translation and dissemination to the general population. Consequently, environmental and policy approaches have gained increasing attention. Nutrition policies however have predominately focused on elementary and middle school students. In school settings however, high school students have an increased exposure to competitive foods and vending products that are generally higher in fat and sugar. The state of Tennessee recently passed legislation that governs the sale of vending products during school hours, however the effect of this policy has not been assessed, particularly among low-income students attending rural high schools.

Specific Aims: In the context described above, the specific aims are to: 1) examine local and state nutrition policies regarding sweetened beverages and sugary snacks that apply to students attending rural high schools in Tennessee; 2) examine associations between eating patterns of rural high school students and school food environmental policies; 3) determine the economic impact of the school vending policy experienced by rural high schools.

Research Question: Utilizing the ecologic theoretical framework, the following research questions will be examined: * How is the level of implementation of the vending policy associated with the prevalence of sweetened beverage and snack consumption among rural high school students? * What strategies have been employed to oppose policy implementation, and how has resistance to the new vending policy been overcome? * How does new policy implementation affect, and how is it affected by resource allocation?

Research Interests

Cognition/learning, diabetes, epidemiology, fitness/physical, minority health issues, obesity, prevention, primary care

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Mid-Career Consultant
  • Award Year: 2006
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Childhood Obesity
  • Project Name: An Examination of Policies to Support Healthy Eating Among Rural High School Students in the Delta

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