Date of Award
Nutrition and Hospitality Management
Alicia Cooper Stapp
The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States has more than tripled over the last four decades from 5 percent in 1978 to 18.5 percent in 2016, and according to the Mississippi Obesity Action Plan, 40.4% of Mississippi elementary school children (grades K-5) were either overweight or obese. Some reports have suggested that Mississippi’s overall obesity rate could reach 66.7% by 2030. Although the literature on best practices for the prevention of this condition is limited, some success has been achieved through the use of school-based nutrition interventions, in which children are taught how to make healthy food choices. As of 2020, Mississippi does not have a statewide nutrition education curriculum, but in 2019, the University of Mississippi School of Education and Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management reported the creation of Fuel to Learn, an integrated standards-based curriculum incorporating nutrition-related concepts into the teaching of mathematics and language arts. This study reports the results of a survey and focus group that were conducted with fifth grade teachers from an elementary school in north Mississippi as they evaluated the Fuel to Learn program. They answered predetermined survey questions explaining why they would or why not implement this nutrition-based curriculum in their classrooms in an aim to identify the limitations and the highlights of the Fuel to Learn program. The results indicated that time, lack of resources, state standards, and parent involvement would affect whether a nutrition program is implemented and successful. The teachers responded very favorably to Fuel to Learn, leading to the conclusion that this program has the potential to make a positive impact across the state.
Davis, Janiya A., "Teacher Evaluation of An Integrated Nutrition Curriculum For Mississippi Schools" (2020). Honors Theses. 1409.
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