Initially designed to get students back into school dining halls to eat school prepared meals, Fuel Zone was a program launched in Glasgow’s primary and secondary schools that later evolved to promote and incentivize healthy eating. Following a staged rollout design, the program was implemented in three stages, with specific strategies designed for each phase. Getting students to reject unhealthy foods at lunchtime in favor of school prepared meals was the goal of phase one. To develop strategies to meet this goal, the Fuel Zone team conducted a competitor review, examining products on the menus of fast-food shops and corner stores to uncover the pros and cons of off campus dining. Additionally, the project team also conducted interviews with secondary school pupils across Glasgow to better understand how products from local food retailers were being successfully marketed to them. During phase two, a document known as the Hungry for Success report was published, providing legislative guidelines for improving the quality and nutritional standards of school meals across Scotland. The release of this report led the Fuel Zone team to tweak their focus and approach – a new goal of the program became to increase the number of healthy options available on school menus, and an incentive scheme was developed to help attract students to the meal program. The focus of phase three centered around the creation and launch of a web-based Fuel Zone Points Rewards scheme intended to encourage and support participation in the program. Focus groups conducted with students at five high schools provided insight into the types of incentives the target audience would be interested in receiving, and building on this research, a points-based system was developed so that students could accrue points for every healthy food purchased and later redeem points to secure different prizes. To support the future development of the program, school health groups consisting of student representatives were formed at Glasgow schools and charged with meeting with catering staff regularly to develop ideas for further improvement. Evaluation of the program was measured through nutritional content and uptake of school meals as well as tracking numbers for students registered in the rewards program. From 2007 until 2010, 4,211 rewards were distributed to school pupils as a result of their healthy eating and registration remains steady at approximately 25 per cent of Glasgow pupils.
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