CLASS is a province-wide research project that looks at the relationships between health, nutrition, physical activity, mental health and school performance of children in Nova Scotia.
In 2003, CLASS I was led by principal investigator Dr. Paul Veugelers and collected information from over 5000 grade five students and their parents in 282 of the 291 elementary schools in Nova Scotia. These research findings were shared with different stakeholders and provided support for a variety of policies and programs in Nova Scotia, including the Food and Nutrition Policy for Nova Scotia Schools and the Nova Scotia Health Promoting Schools Program.
Since 2003, schools across Nova Scotia have taken action on school health. In 2009, a dynamic research team led by the nominated principal investigator Dr. Paul Veugelers (University of Alberta) and co-principal investigator Dr. Sara Kirk (Dalhousie University) received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FRN: 93680) to conduct CLASS II to understand how these changes have influenced children's health and school performance by collecting similar information from students in Grade 5 in 2011. With support from 272 schools across the province, CLASS II successfully completed data collection in 2011 with over 5,500 Grade 5 students across Nova Scotia.
We are currently analyzing the results of CLASS II and will be reporting new results in our Resources page.
You can find more information about the work of Dr. Paul Veugelers at the Population Health Intervention Research Unit (School of Public Health, University of Alberta) at www.realkidsalberta.ca or www.appleschools.ca or on Twitter @APPLESchools.
You can find more information about the work of Dr. Sara Kirk at the Applied Research Collaborations for Health (School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University) at www.archonline.ca (blog is linked below) or on Twitter @sflkirk.
Featured research results
Breast, Formula and Combination Feeding in Relation to Childhood Obesity in Nova Scotia, Canada. Maternal Child Health Journal. Published online 06 February 2015.
Food security status among grade 5 students in Nova Scotia, Canada and its association with health outcomes. Public Health Nutrition. 30 July 2014. Epub ahead of print.
Applying theoretical components to the implementation of health-promoting schools. Health Education Journal. Epub before print May 5, 2014.
The impact of a population-level school food and nutrition policy on dietary intake and body weights of Canadian children. Preventive Medicine. Dec 2013, 57(6): 934–940.
Culture matters: a case of school health promotion in Canada. Health Promotion International. Epub ahead of print August 14, 2013.
School Health Promotion Policy in Nova Scotia: A Case Study. PHEnex Journal, 4(2).
Diet quality and mental health in subsequent years among Canadian youth. Public Health Nutrition 2012; 14: 1-6
Health care utilization from prevalent medical conditions in normal-weight, overweight, and obese children. Journal of Pediatrics 2012; 160(2): 216-221.
The Role of Maternal Smoking in Effect of Fetal Growth Restriction on Poor Scholastic Achievement in Elementary School. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 February; 9(2): 408–420.
Costs of Implementing and Maintaining Comprehensive School Health:The Case of the Annapolis Valley Health Promoting Schools Program. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2011;102(6):451-54.
Use and cost of health services among overweight and obese Canadian children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, E-publication ahead of print.
Prevention potential of risk factors for childhood overweight. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101(5), 365-68.
Perinatal and childhood risk factors for overweight in a provincial sample of Canadian Grade 5 students. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 5(1), 88-96.
Nutrition and body weights of Canadian children watching television and eating while watching television. Public Health Nutrition, 12(12), 2457-63.
Body satisfaction and body weight: gender differences and sociodemographic determinants. BMC Public Health, 9, 313.
Diet quality and academic performance. The Journal of School Health, 78(4): 209-15.
Self-esteem and cognitive development in the era of the childhood obesity epidemic. Obesity Reviews, 9(6): 615-623.
Body mass index and childhood asthma: A linear association? The Journal of Asthma, 45(6), 473-477.
Comparison of ICD code-based diagnosis of obesity with measured obesity in children and the implications for health care cost estimates. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011; 11: 173.
Parent and child reports of children's activity. Health Reports, 19(3), 19-24.
The association between childhood overweight and obesity and otitis media. Pediatric Obesity. 2012, 7(2):151-7.
Neighborhood characteristics in relation to diet, physical activity and overweight of Canadian children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 3(3), 152-159.
Children's preference for large portions: Prevalence, determinants, and consequences. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(7), 1183-1190.
Dietary intake and risk factors for poor diet quality among children in Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 96(3), 212-216.
Effectiveness of school programs in preventing childhood obesity: A multilevel comparison. American Journal of Public Health, 95(3): 432-435.
Prevalence of and risk factors for childhood overweight and obesity. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 173(6): 607-613.