Farm to school programs are rapidly gaining attention as a potential strategy for preventing childhood obesity; however, the caus- al linkages between Farm to school activities and health outcomes are not well documented. to capitalize on the increased interest in and momentum for Farm to school, researchers and practitioners need to move from developing and implementing evidence- informed programs and policies to ones that are evidence-based. the purpose of this article is to outline a framework for facilitating an evidence base for Farm to school programs and policies through a systematic and coordinated approach. employing the concepts of causal pathways, the authors introduce a proposed framework for organizing and systematically testing out multiple hypotheses (or potential causal links) for how, why, and under what conditions Farm to school inputs and Activities may result in what Outputs, effects, and impacts. Using the causal pathways framework may help develop and test competing hypotheses, identify multicausal- ity, strength, and interactions of causes, and discern the difference between catalysts and causes. in this article, we introduce causal pathways, present menus of potential independent and dependent variables from which to create and test causal pathways linking Farm to school interventions and their role in preventing childhood obesity, discuss their applicability to Farm to school research and practice, and outline proposed next steps for developing a coordinated research framework for Farm to school programs.

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Author Last Name: 
Joshi
Author First Name: 
Anupama
Publication Year: 
2012