Table 3

Semi-Structured Interview Topics and Major Themes

Principal Interviews




1. Obesity is a problem in general, but not at their school.

2. Schools have been unfairly targeted above more salient factors such as community and home environments.

3. Dietary habits are largely established by the time students get to high school; attempts at change should start earlier.

School Priorities

4. Schools have a role in student health, although academic achievement is the top priority among many competing demands.

Government Legislation/Mandates

5. Additional legislation (i.e., the establishment of local wellness policies) could be helpful, although mandates should be informed by educators and better incorporate the school's perspective.

Food Service Interviews




1. Obesity may be a problem in general, but not at their school.

2. School food service is not the cause.

Food/Beverage Offerings

3. The reasons for food offerings are multi-factorial and are based largely on the perceived importance of preparing students for the real world by providing choice and the need to maintain high participation rates; both healthy and unhealthy options are available.

ALC and Vending

4. ALC is valuable; it keeps lunch participation high and prices low but should be used as a supplement, not a replacement, to the main meal.

5. Vending is also valuable in that it provides school's additional revenue; vending is

part of food service and is appropriate if it does not interfere with the lunch program.

Nollen et al. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2007 4:18   doi:10.1186/1479-5868-4-18

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