Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S15, July 2013

FoodFight’s Teacher Wellness Program Educates School Staff Based on Theory: Healthy Teachers Equals Healthy Students


      Working to combat the obesity epidemic and pervasive chronic diet-related disease, FoodFight’s Teacher Wellness Program is designed to arm teachers, principals and school staff with the knowledge necessary to transform their own health and wellbeing, serve as role models for students and become agents of change in their schools and communities.

      Target audience

      Our program targets school staff directly but also reaches students, parents and their communities through the additional resources we offer (student curriculum, parent wellness workshops, garden grants, etc.).

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      FoodFight recognized that the ability to effect lasting change in the culture of health and wellness in schools is limited without educating and gaining the buy-in of school staff, whose attitudes and behavior shape school culture.


      FoodFight educators and chefs teach participants about: the basic principles of a healthy diet, reading food labels, navigating the supermarket, the impact of marketing on consumer choices, and the politics influencing our food system. Teachers also have the opportunity to be paired with a wellness coach for 6 months to help them make lasting behavioral changes.


      FoodFight partners with the Program in Nutrition at Columbia University. Using a pre-test and post-test survey, information is gathered on baseline and post-intervention data related to participants’ behaviors toward food, attitudes, knowledge and skills.

      Conclusions and Implications

      FoodFight’s ultimate goal is a national, systemic change in the culture of health and wellness in schools. In 2013, through a partnership with the Whole Kids Foundation, we are expanding our Teacher Wellness Program to serve 1,200 educators in up to 6 additional U.S. cities.


      Whole Kids Foundation.