Publications by authors named "Sandra D Vamos"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Health Literacy and Food Literacy for K-12 Schools in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

J Sch Health 2021 08 22;91(8):650-659. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Professor, Institute of Biology Education, University of Cologne, Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2, 50931, Cologne, Germany.

Background: Food literacy, a sub-area of health literacy, is achieving attention in schools, academia, research, health care, businesses, and governments worldwide. Against the current COVID-19 pandemic backdrop, the relevance of food literacy's interconnected attributes such as nutritional knowledge, food skills, and food environment is gaining traction. Enhancing health and food literacy in the K-12 school environment are important empowerment tools with the potential to reduce health inequalities as vulnerable people are at risk of limited health literacy.

Methods: We aim to clarify the meaning of food literacy and its relationship to health literacy and other factors influencing eating behavior.

Results: We offer a proposed conceptual model depicting connections between relevant theories and constructs in the field of health and nutrition. Concrete actions are offered that contemporary schools can take guided by the utility of the model.

Conclusions: This visual can help guide schools' multidimensional health and food literacy efforts while considering the realities of the current COVID-19 pandemic context and beyond. This model will provide an overarching reference for schools to consider key constructs to support practice, research, policy, and intervention efforts to advance their health and food literacy agendas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.13055DOI Listing
August 2021

Rebranding School Health: The Power of Education for Health Literacy.

J Sch Health 2021 08 21;91(8):670-676. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Professor Emeritus of Public Health, School of Human Sciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL, 62901., USA.

Background: The relationship between health and learning generally goes without question in developed countries, and has a philosophic, economic, and statutory basis. Historically, school health and school health education have evolved in response to addressing the public health needs of the times. Health literacy skills are more important now than ever. Living in an ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic reminds us of the vital role of being in control of our health, wherein health literacy plays a "life or death" role in our daily lives.

Methods: Considering the evolution of school health education, we examine the significance of health literacy in our society and schools in contemporary times.

Results: We must take a critical look at a place for education for health literacy and why it should be an innovative path in adaptive, reimagined, and revitalized schools.

Conclusions: It is time to rebrand school health in general, and school health education specifically. Improved health literacy is an asset leading to greater opportunities for health and life-long learning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.13056DOI Listing
August 2021

What's in a Name? Re-Branding and Re-Framing School Health Education to School Boards and Legislators as Education for Health Literacy-A Commentary.

J Sch Health 2021 Aug 1;91(8):595-598. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Associate Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 49008., USA.

Background: Branding involves "labeling" (for identification) and "meaning" (for understanding) to a product, service, person, idea, or other entity. We are familiar with "brands" of soft drinks, automobiles, mobile phones, soups, cigarettes, and sports teams, and some brands have greater "market share" than others.

Methods: In this commentary, we review some of the ways that school health has been branded over the past 50+ years.

Results: The brand we know as school health education has failed to compete successfully with other school subject areas (eg, the so-called STEM subjects) for the attention of school board members, administrators, legislators, and other policymakers. Perhaps more importantly, school health education advocates have lost the market share game to subject areas that school board members and legislators see as ones with better return on investment, at least politically speaking. In short, we have failed to make the sale.

Conclusion: An alternative is to re-brand and re-frame school health education as education for health literacy. Literacy as a brand commands the attention of education gatekeepers, and may be more strongly related conceptually to what gatekeepers see as education-centric programs deserving of funding. Adopting a marketing mindset may elevate education for health literacy to a place where key stakeholders are more likely to "purchase" it as a relevant school "product."
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.13049DOI Listing
August 2021

Effects of a Health Education Course on Pre-Service Teachers' Perceived Knowledge, Skills, Preparedness, and Beliefs in Teaching Health Education.

J Sch Health 2020 03 1;90(3):224-233. Epub 2020 Jan 1.

Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Dr, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.

Background: In this study, we explore how a health education course may play a role in pre-service teachers' perceptions in teaching and integrating health education activities to nurture K-8 students' health literacy.

Methods: We used mixed methods to examine the effect of a health education course in a teacher education program. Of 55 pre-service teachers, 41voluntarily participated in the study. Quantitative data were obtained through an online questionnaire administered to participants at the beginning and end of the course. We conducted 6 focus groups at the end of the course.

Results: The inferential analysis from a series of analysis of variance with repeated measures revealed significant differences in health knowledge (F = 113.39, p < .01, η  = 0.74), preparedness (F = 104.74, p < .01, η  = 0.73), attitudes (F = 15.02, p < .01, η  = 0.28), and beliefs (F = 8.87, p < .01, η  = 0.19) between time points. Qualitative data led to the conclusion that where one health education course is insufficient, such a course is the first step into future curriculum development and implementation.

Conclusion: One health education course might be beneficial for general education teachers to increase their knowledge and preparation to teaching school health. On-going training is needed for program success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12868DOI Listing
March 2020
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