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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Texas School Food Policy Changes Related to Middle School a La Carte/snack Bar Foods: Potential Savings in Kilocalories

item Cullen, Karen
item Thompson, Deborah

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2005
Publication Date: December 1, 2005
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Thompson, D.I. 2005. Texas school food policy changes related to middle school a la carte/snack bar foods: Potential savings in kilocalories. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 105(12):1952-1954.

Interpretive Summary: This study looked at the impact of a proposedTexas school food policy on calories available in the school snack bars. Schools would only serve 12-ounce sweetened beverages and small packages of high-fat, high-salt snacks and high-fat dessert foods. Sales data from 23 middle schools were evaluated. The most popular items sold were 20-ounce sweetened beverages and large bags of chips. Reducing the portion sizes of these items could save 47 calories per day per student, if the student did not eat or drink more of other foods or beverages.

Technical Abstract: The potential impact of a school food policy change reducing sweetened beverage and high-fat, salty, and sweet food portions on energy consumption of middle-school students was assessed. Snack bar sales for one school year were obtained from 23 schools. Energy content was calculated for each item and energy savings from reduced portion size was determined. Per student, about 111 kcal per day was purchased; 47 kcal per day was saved when reduced portion sizes were substituted for the large servings. These findings should provide some assurance that changes in food portion sizes in school food environments could impact energy balance.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015