Cooperative Extension promotes healthy behaviors, including nutritious eating and physical activity. Research-based healthy meeting guidelines pertaining to foods and beverages served at Extension-sponsored events have been adopted in some states. The extent of adherence to Healthy Eating at Meetings guidelines was assessed by observing foods and beverages served at Extension-sponsored events across one state. Over a four-month period, 69 events involving foods and/or beverages were observed, including 33 events on a state university’s campus and 46 events across 36 counties. Observed events included meetings, workshops and conferences for faculty and staff, agricultural trainings and field days for the public, 4-H camps and special activities for youth and their families, and county and state fair events. Photos and menus of the foods and beverages served were assessed using a seven-item scorecard based on the Healthy Eating at Meetings guidelines. The average score for adherence to the guidelines was 57%, with a range of 10%-93%. Results suggest that adopting healthy meeting guidelines may not be enough to ensure that nutritious foods are served and that healthy eating is modeled at Extension-sponsored events. This study indicates that further research to explore Extension professionals’ knowledge of and attitudes toward healthy meeting guidelines is needed.
Smathers, C. A.,
Lobb, J. M.
(2018). Practicing What We Teach: Adherence to Healthy Meeting Guidelines at Extension Meetings and Events.
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 6(1), 8.
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