Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2005
Publication Date: August 1, 2005
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Watson, K. 2005. The use of school food production records as a surrogate measure of student intake [abstract]. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 105(8):A-51(Suppl. 1). Technical Abstract: National School Lunch Program meals provide an important source of fruit, vegetables, and milk for students. In intervention studies, measuring individual dietary intake is expensive. This study investigated whether food production records could be used as a surrogate measure of student consumption. Sixth through 8th grade students from 3 schools (2790 students; 48% free/reduced price lunch; 61% Hispanic, 34% White, 3% African-American, 2% Asian/other) participated. During one school year, assenting students completed anonymous lunch food records (n=2677) in the cafeteria immediately after eating. The lunch records were entered into Nutrient Data Systems (version 4.2; University of Minnesota) to obtain nutrient and food group intake. Food production records were also obtained for the year (n=145) and daily numbers of fruit, vegetables, and milk served were calculated. Mean student intakes of fruit, vegetables, and milk were calculated and correlated with the food production record number of servings served daily. Average daily lunch consumption was 0.32 serving fruit, 0.32 serving regular vegetable, 0.05 serving high-fat vegetable (e.g., french fries), and 3 ounces of milk. Significant correlations between student intake and servings from the food production records were found for milk (r=0.69; p<0.001), fruit (r=0.50; p<0.001), and high -at vegetables (r=0.17; p<0.05), but not regular vegetables. These results suggest that food production records can provide valid data about milk, fruit, and high-fat vegetable intake, but not for regular vegetables. This corresponds to data from school plate waste studies that suggest that vegetables are discarded most frequently.