Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Global Honors

First Advisor

Christine Stevens


It is well known that the place where people live, age, and work affects their health outcomes. In order to understand the complexity and context of place, a pilot study was conducted to explore parents’ perceptions of the school lunch program in two different countries, Kenya and USA. This study was conducted using a cross sectional survey thorough email, and its aim was to (1) discover where the food served to the children originated (2) explore parents’ perceptions if the school lunch program provided healthy food. The results of the pilot study showed a difference between the two countries; the food in Kenya was healthy and locally grown while schools in affluent neighborhoods in the USA provided healthier school lunches than schools in low income neighborhoods. Parents’ responses were intriguing because most of them felt that school lunch was healthy. On the other hand, this study demonstrates that sometimes children were exposed to more than the recommended daily intake of sodium and fat contents in school food. Preliminary findings in this pilot study present a paradox and calls for further research.