Nutrition education: Towards a whole-school approach

Fiona Rowe, Donald Stewart, Shawn Somerset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Schools are widely accepted as having the potential to make substantial contributions to promoting healthy eating habits in children and adolescents. This paper aims to present a case study from an Australian school of how a whole-school approach, planned and implemented through a health promoting school framework, can foster improved nutrition in schools by creating a supportive environment for healthy eating habits. Design/methodology/approach: A case study approach was used to investigate the influence of a health promoting school approach on improvements to nutrition in the school environment. Data were collected using in-depth interviews, student focus groups and documentary evidence, such as school planning documents and observations of health promoting school activities. Findings: This study illustrates how initiatives to promote a healthier school environment increased demand for nutritious food in the school community, which in turn impacted the supply of these foods at the school tuckshop. The study provides insight into the key factors that facilitated these changes in the school, both internally, in terms of organisational change processes within the school, and externally, through support from a health promotion agency. The study also illustrates the centrality of educational leadership in the school context, even in an area typically identified as a "health" issue. Originality/value: This paper presents qualitative research identifying organisational processes that instigate change in the provision of nutritious foods within the school environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-208
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


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