Development of the PEA-PODS (Perceptions of the Environment and Patterns of Diet at School) Survey for Students
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Development of the PEA-PODS (Perceptions of the Environment and Patterns of Diet at School) Survey for Students

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Introduction Few instruments assess key outcomes of school-based obesity interventions, including student perceptions of school environments and school-specific dietary intake patterns. This study describes development of PEA-PODS (Perceptions of the Environment and Patterns of Diet at School), a 2-part survey to measure these outcomes. Methods Part 1 (PEA) assessed student perceptions of policies, physical environment, and practices related to healthy eating and physical activity at school. Part 2 (PODS) assessed usual intake (ie, frequency, location obtained, and foods consumed) of breakfast and lunch. Foods consumed were presented by MyPlate categories (eg, Fruits, Grains). Students in grades 3, 6, and 9 participated in 2 phases: cognitive pre-testing (n = 10) and reliability/validation testing (n = 58). Both surveys were administered 1 week apart to assess test-retest reliability and 5-day food records validated PODS. Analyses included percent agreement (70% = acceptable), Pearson correlations, and Cronbach α. Results Cognitive pre-testing provided feedback on content, length, and age-appropriateness. Percent agreements were acceptable for test-retest reliability of PEA (71%–96%). The final version included 34 items with Likert-type responses in 4 subscales (α ≥0.78). For PODS, agreement for breakfast and lunch location was ≥75% for both reliability and validation. For foods consumed at breakfast, reliability agreement ranged from 74% to 93%, and validation agreement from 68% to 91%. For foods consumed at lunch, agreement ranges were 76% to 95% and 73% to 88%, respectively. Conclusion Both parts of the instrument demonstrate acceptable reliability, and PODS demonstrates acceptable validity. This demonstrates appropriateness for assessing perceptions of the environment and usual dietary intake patterns for school-based obesity prevention initiatives.
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