School Beverage Contracts & Childhood Obesity: A Case Study
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The objective of this study was to describe the issue of school beverage contracts and childhood obesity from the perspectives of a broad group of stakeholders. Specifically, the perspectives concerning contracts in two Ontario school boards in Canada's 2004-2006 sociopolitical environment were studied. This qualitative study utilized a case study approach to capture the opinions of many stakeholders. Open ended interviews with individuals representing twelve stakeholder groups resulted in five major interrelated themes: "Awareness & Knowledge," "Influences of Obesity & Co-morbidities," "Perceived Value of Beverage Contracts," "Accountability" and "Future Directions (For Shifting Norms). " Stakeholders suggested the use of multidisciplinary and comprehensive strategies to promote healthy choices in the school environment, which is thought to have positive implications for childhood obesity. This study is unique in that it looks at a common issue from a number of different perspectives and reports all viewpoints in an unbiased and clear way showing the similarities and differences of opinions. Information from this study has potential importance in informing future directions to prevent and reduce childhood obesity, especially as this issue relates to the creation of school beverage contracts.