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Trimming the Fat: School-based Child Obesity Prevention in British Columbia

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This study investigates ways to improve the health and well-being of children in British Columbia (BC) through the education system. Despite BC's efforts, many BC children do not consume a healthy diet at school. A broad examination of case studies is used to ascertain common criteria for a health promoting school, while a detailed analysis of these criteria confirm that they are indeed indispensable for BC. Drawing on these findings, I formulate three policy options and conduct a policy analysis. The policy options are evaluated based on their ability to meet four criteria: effectiveness, cost, implementation complexity, and key stakeholder acceptability. Results indicate that legislating and enforcing the Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools is the best option for BC in improving the health and well-being of schoolchildren. I recommend the legislation and enforcement of the Guidelines to the BC Ministry of Education because of the policy options ability to improve the school food environment, reduce child obesity prevalence, relative low costs, and ease of implementation.
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