Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management

First Advisor

Shirley A. Gilmore

Second Advisor

Rosalie J. Amos


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which the Iowa public school food service (SFS) district directors incorporated nutrition education into SFS programs. A preliminary qualitative study was conducted to obtain in-depth information about nutrition education in SFS programs. The resulting information from interviews with 12 private SFS directors was used to develop a self-administered questionnaire for this study;The questionnaire consisted of three parts: demographic information, nutrition education activities, and attitudes toward nutrition education. The questionnaire was pilot tested, revised, and mailed to 377 Iowa public SFS district directors. The return rate was 74% (n = 280);The majority of respondents were female, between the ages of 40 and 59, had the job title of SFS director, and possessed the minimum of a high school diploma. Findings indicate that three major sources of nutrition education materials were commodity groups, state government, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Nutrition education materials were received on a monthly basis. Posters, newsletters, brochures, and flyers were the most frequently used nutrition education materials;Respondents performed most nutrition education activities with SFS personnel and students but seldom with nurses, principals, school boards, superintendents, other school administrators, teachers, and/or parents. Nearly half of the respondents used marketing activities to promote healthy eating habits and involved students in the preparation of nutritious meals in the school cafeteria. In general, respondents had positive attitudes toward nutrition education and recognized the importance of incorporating nutrition education into SFS programs;Results of the study indicate that Iowa public SFS district directors significantly differed in backgrounds, nutrition education activities, and attitudes toward nutrition education among small, medium, and large school districts. Positive differences in backgrounds, nutrition education activities, and attitudes toward nutrition education were associated with the size of the school district. The results of this study can be used to enhance nutrition education in Iowa SFS programs.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Chi-Ting Chen



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

154 pages