Exploring the School Nutrition Policy Environment in Canada Using the ANGELO Framework
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Excess body weight has become a major public health issue. Given the link between poor nutrition, obesity, and chronic disease in youth, increasing attention is being paid to the school as an ideal setting for promoting nutritious eating practices. Informed by the ANGELO (Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity) framework, we employ a documentary analysis to investigate the context of school nutrition in Canada, particularly the relationship between regional- and upper-level policies. In doing so, we examine policy documents and technical reports across three levels. We used mixed methods to analyze relevant English language policy documents and technical reports across Canada (n = 58), published between 1989 and 2011. Results reveal distinct differences across federal, provincial, and regional levels. The availability of nutritious food in schools and having nutrition education as part of the curriculum were key components of the physical environment across federal and provincial levels. Federal and provincial priorities are guided by a health promotion framework and adopting a partnership approach to policy implementation. Gaps in regional-level policy include incorporating nutrition education in the curriculum and making the link between nutrition and obesity. Policy implications are provided, in addition to future research opportunities to explore the connections between these environments at the local level.
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