Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impact of Portion-Size Control for School a la Carte Items: Changes in Kilocalories and Macronutrients Purchased by Middle School Students

Authors
item Hartstein, Jill - UNIV CALIFORNIA - IRVINE
item CULLEN, KAREN
item Reynolds, Kim - UNIV S CALI - ALHAMBRA
item Harrell, Joanne - UNC - CHAPEL HILL
item Resnicow, Ken - U MICHIGAN - ANN ARBOR
item Kennel, Phyllis - UNC - CHAPEL HILL

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2007
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Citation: Hartstein, J., Cullen, K.W., Reynolds, K.D., Harrell, J., Resnicow, K., Kennel, P. 2008. Impact of portion-size control for school a la carte items: Changes in kilocalories and macronutrients purchased by middle school students. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 108(1):140-144.

Interpretive Summary: This study looked at the effect of improving a la carte food and beverage selections in middle schools. A la carte sales were obtained from six middle schools in three states for one baseline week and daily for 6 weeks. The goals were reducing sizes of sweetened beverages and chips, and making more water and reduced fat/baked chips available. The amount of nutrients sold per student and per number of items sold were calculated. Five schools achieved all goals at 6 weeks. Four schools showed increases in the percentage of kcal from protein and decreases in the amount of sweetened beverages sold; five showed significant increases in water sales. Changes in regular chips varied by school. More lower calorie foods were sold. School food service changes in middle school snack bar/a la carte line can be implemented and can lead to a reduction in the caloric density of foods purchased.

Technical Abstract: We assessed the impact of a pilot middle school a la carte intervention on food and beverage purchases, kilocalories, fat, carbohydrate, and protein sold per student, and nutrient density of the foods sold. A la carte sales were obtained from six middle schools in three states for 1 baseline week and daily during the 6-week intervention. Intervention goals included reducing sizes of sweetened beverages and chips, and increasing the availability of water and reduced-fat/baked chips. Nutrients sold per day were computed, and weekly nutrient means per student and per number of items sold were calculated and compared between baseline and week 6. Five schools achieved all goals at 6 weeks. Four schools showed increases in the percentage of kilocalories from protein and decreases in the amount of sweetened beverages sold; five showed substantial increases in water sales. Changes in regular chips varied by school. There were significant changes in energy density of foods sold. School foodservice changes in middle school snack bar/a la carte lines can be implemented and can lead to a reduction in the caloric density of foods purchased.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014