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Maryland Wellness Policies and Practices Project

Overivew

The Maryland Wellness Policies and Practices Project focuses on preventing pediatric obesity. In an effort to prevent pediatric obesity, federal policy makers have mandated that school systems have written School Wellness Policies (SWP) which are implemented on the system and school-level. This mixed methods study will evaluate SWP’s from all 24 school systems in the state of Maryland. The overall objectives of the study are:

  1. To examine local wellness policy strength, comprehensiveness, and implementation among school systems and schools across Maryland.
  2. To examine barriers and enablers to wellness policy implementation.
  3. To evaluate the change in wellness policy strength, comprehensiveness, and implementation following an inter-agency initiative.      - Guide for school system representatives and school administrators outlining strategies for fully implementing wellness policies.      - Technical assistance for schools and school systems to support positive changes in wellness policy implementation.

The intended outcomes of the study are to improve the strength and comprehensiveness of School Wellness Policies and to improve wellness policy implementation in hopes that it will lead to healthier school environments and improved diet and physical activity behaviors in school children to ultimately reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Faculty & Staff

Erin Hager, Ph.D.
Univeristy of Maryland, School of Medicine
ehager@peds.umaryland.edu 

Kendal Busted, MS
Policy Coordinator and Data Analyst
kborge@peds.umaryland.edu 

Institutional Partners

  • Institute for a Healthiest Maryland
  • Maryland State Department of Education
  • Maryland Department Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
  • University of Maryland Extension