Cultivating School Food Community: An Ethnography on Nutritional Wellbeing in a Calgary Public School
The nutritional health of Canadian children has declined over the last 30 years. Public health campaigns and health education programs have been developed to address increased rates of obesity and overweight in young people. Schools are popular sites for health education programming in this regard. Although policies and initiatives have been used to improve student nutritional health, low-nutritional value foods (LNVFs) continue to proliferate in the school food environment (SFE). Critical Medical Anthropology (CMA) considers the social, political, economic, and environmental factors that interact with the body to impact overall health and may help shed light on why young people continue to consume LNVFs in school. CMA is both a theory and practice that can be used for improving health and wellbeing in communities. This thesis utilized CMA in an ethnography at a school in Calgary to better understand what factors influence food choice among students. Interviews, group discussions and participant observation were conducted between January 2015 and June 2015. Through collaborative initiatives including a garbology study and a cookbook project, students, teachers and researcher uncovered valuable information to help inform future food programming in schools.
critical medical anthropology, ethnography, garbology, school food environment
Cottle, T. (2019). Cultivating School Food Community: An Ethnography on Nutritional Wellbeing in a Calgary Public School (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.