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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Improvements in Middle School Student Dietary Intake After Implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy

Authors
item Cullen, Karen
item Watson, Kathy - BAYLOR COLLEGE MED
item Zakeri, Issa

Submitted to: American Journal of Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2007
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Watson, K., Zakeri, I. 2008. Improvements in middle school student dietary intake after implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy. American Journal of Public Health. 98(1):111-117.

Interpretive Summary: This study looked at the impact of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy on student lunch consumption. Three years of lunch food records were collected from middle school students in southeast Texas: baseline (2001-02), after local district changes (2002-03), and one year after implementation of the Texas Policy (2005-06). Students recorded amount and source of foods/beverages consumed. Following implementation of the Texas policy, student lunch consumption of protein, fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, sodium, vegetables, energy, and milk increased, while consumption of less desirable items decreased (sweetened beverages, snack chips and percent calories from fat). Most vegetables and milk were obtained from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meal. Less sweetened beverages, candy, chips and dessert foods were purchased and consumed from vending machines. Overall, state school nutrition policies can improve student lunch consumption.

Technical Abstract: We assessed the effect of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy on middle school student lunchtime food consumption. Three years of lunch food records were collected from middle school students in southeast Texas: baseline (2001-2002), after local district changes (2002-2003), and 1 year after implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2005-2006). Students recorded amount and source of foods and beverages they consumed. Analysis of variance and covariance and nonparametric tests were used to compare intake after the policy change with intake during the 2 previous years. After implementation of the nutrition policy, student lunch consumption of vegetables, milk, and several nutrients increased (protein, fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and sodium), and consumption of less desirable items (sweetened beverages, snack chips) decreased, as did percentage of energy from fat. Most of the desired nutrients and foods (vegetables and milk) were obtained from the National School Lunch Program meal. Fewer sweetened beverages, candy, chips, and dessert foods were purchased and consumed, but more of these items were brought from home and purchased from the snack bar. Overall, state school nutrition policies can improve the healthfulness of foods consumed by students at lunch.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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