WISE SNAC Needs Assessment Report (2006)

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In its commitment to combat the national obesity crisis on a local level, the North Penn Community Health Foundation has provided grant support for “WISE SNAC” - Wellness Initiative for the School Environment: Smart Nutrition & Activity Collaborative, an initiative led by the Health Promotion Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

WISE SNAC® is a unique and exciting approach to reversing the trend of childhood obesity by fostering school-community partnerships that promote and reinforce consistent educational messages and opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. Guided by the Centers for Disease Control’s evidence-based Coordinated School Health Program Model, the WISE SNAC® process begins with a comprehensive needs assessment to gather baseline data on existing knowledge and behaviors towards nutrition and physical activity. Essential input is collected from school administration and staff, students, parents/guardians and community partners. Based on findings, a tailored implementation plan is developed for each district.

The 2006 WISE SNAC Needs Assessment Report provides a detailed analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data collected from the Wissahickon and Souderton Area School Districts during the 2006-2007 school year. Highlights of this report include:

  • 79% of students report eating breakfast everyday; however 21% still do not.
  • Parents have an accurate understanding of what constitutes good nutrition and physical activity; however, 43% reported buying chips for snacks regularly.
  • Students report that faculty/staff and parents are their role models for healthy lifestyles and they prefer to learn through in-class and family activities.
  • Districts support integration of nutrition and physical activity into the school day through continuing education-based faculty training and provision of resources.
  • The key partnership to be developed is between parents/guardians, faculty/staff and administrators as an opportunity for reinforcing consistent messages in order to promote a healthy school environment.
  • Engaging community stakeholders is viewed as a critical component to addressing childhood obesity, but help is needed in the identification of partners.
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