Teacher Experience, Personal Health, and Dieting Status Is Associated With Classroom Health-Related Practices and Modeling*

Lindsay Hamilton, Lynnel Goodman, Lindsey Roberts, Lauren A. Dial, Mercedes Pratt, Dara Musher-Eizenman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that schools play an important role in student health; however, little is known about variability in teachers' use of food-related classroom practices. In this study, we examined associations between teacher demographic and individual factors and their food-related practices and modeling in the classroom. METHODS: We had 239 teachers in the United States complete an online survey about their demographics (years of teaching experience, socioeconomic status of the school), personal health status, height and weight, and nutrition knowledge. Teachers also reported on the unhealthy food-related practices they use in their classroom (eg, candy as a reward) and modeling (ie, engaging in unhealthy and healthy eating practices in front of students). RESULTS: Hierarchical linear regressions were computed for each outcome separately. After controlling for socioeconomic status, fewer years of teaching experience and lower perception of personal health were associated with the use of unhealthy practices in the classroom. Teachers who were dieting were more likely to endorse healthy modeling. CONCLUSIONS: Teacher demographic and individual factors are associated with food-related classroom behavior. These findings have implications for interventions to promote the health of teachers and their students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • child and adolescent health
  • eating habits
  • health behavior
  • nutrition and diet
  • teacher modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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