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.


Featured research results

Rossiter MD, Colapinto CK, Khan MKA, McIsaac JD, Williams PL, Kirk SFL & Veugelers PJ (2015)
Breast, Formula and Combination Feeding in Relation to Childhood Obesity in Nova Scotia, Canada. Maternal Child Health Journal. Published online 06 February 2015.
Kirk SFL, Kuhle S, McIsaac JD, Williams PL, Rossiter M, Ohinmaa A & Veugelers PJ (2014)
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.
McIsaac JD, Storey K, Veugelers PJ, Kirk SFL (2014)
Applying theoretical components to the implementation of health-promoting schools. Health Education Journal. Epub before print May 5, 2014.
Fung C, McIsaac JD, Kuhle S, Kirk SFL, Veugelers PJ (2013)
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.
McIsaac JD, Read K, Veugelers PJ, Kirk SFL (2013)
Culture matters: a case of school health promotion in Canada. Health Promotion International. Epub ahead of print August 14, 2013.
McIsaac JL, Sim SM, Penney TL, Kirk SFL, Veugelers PJ (2012)
School Health Promotion Policy in Nova Scotia: A Case Study. PHEnex Journal, 4(2).
McMartin SE, Kuhle S, Colman I, Kirk SF, Veugelers PJ (2012)
Diet quality and mental health in subsequent years among Canadian youth. Public Health Nutrition 2012; 14: 1-6
Kirk SF, Kuhle S, Ohinmaa A, Colman I, Veugelers PJ (2012)
Health care utilization from prevalent medical conditions in normal-weight, overweight, and obese children. Journal of Pediatrics 2012; 160(2): 216-221.
Burstyn I, Kuhle S, Allen AC, Veugelers PJ (2012)
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.
Ohinmaa A, Langille JL, Jamieson S, Whitby C, Veugelers PJ (2011)
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.
Kuhle S, Kirk S, Ohinmaa A, Yasui Y, Allen AC, Veugelers PJ (2010)
Use and cost of health services among overweight and obese Canadian children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, E-publication ahead of print.
Kuhle S, Allen AC, Veugelers PJ (2010)
Prevention potential of risk factors for childhood overweight. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101(5), 365-68.
Kuhle S, Allen AC, Veugelers PJ (2010)
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.
Liang T, Kuhle S, Veugelers PJ (2009)
Nutrition and body weights of Canadian children watching television and eating while watching television. Public Health Nutrition, 12(12), 2457-63.
Austin SB, Haines J, Veugelers PJ (2009)
Body satisfaction and body weight: gender differences and sociodemographic determinants. BMC Public Health, 9, 313.
Florence MD, Asbridge M, Veugelers PJ (2008)
Diet quality and academic performance. The Journal of School Health, 78(4): 209-15.
Wang F, Veugelers PJ (2008)
Self-esteem and cognitive development in the era of the childhood obesity epidemic. Obesity Reviews, 9(6): 615-623.
Sithole F, Veugelers PJ (2008)
Body mass index and childhood asthma: A linear association? The Journal of Asthma, 45(6), 473-477.
Kuhle S, Kirk SF, Ohinmaa A, Veugelers PJ (2011)
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.
Sithole F, Veugelers PJ (2008)
Parent and child reports of children's activity. Health Reports, 19(3), 19-24.
Kuhle S, Kirk SF, Ohinmaa A, Urschitz MS, Veugelers PJ
The association between childhood overweight and obesity and otitis media. Pediatric Obesity. 2012, 7(2):151-7.
Veugelers P, Sithole F, Zhang S, Muhajarine N (2008)
Neighborhood characteristics in relation to diet, physical activity and overweight of Canadian children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 3(3), 152-159.
Colapinto CK, Fitzgerald A, Taper LJ, Veugelers PJ (2007)
Children's preference for large portions: Prevalence, determinants, and consequences. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(7), 1183-1190.
Veugelers PJ, Fitzgerald AL, Johnston E (2005)
Dietary intake and risk factors for poor diet quality among children in Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 96(3), 212-216.
Veugelers PJ, Fitzgerald AL (2005)
Effectiveness of school programs in preventing childhood obesity: A multilevel comparison. American Journal of Public Health, 95(3): 432-435.
Veugelers PJ, Fitzgerald AL (2005)
Prevalence of and risk factors for childhood overweight and obesity. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 173(6): 607-613.