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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: The impact of the Texas public school nutrition policy on student food selection and sales in Texas

Authors
item Cullen, Karen -
item Watson, Kathleen -

Submitted to: American Journal of Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2008
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Watson, K.B. 2009. The impact of the Texas public school nutrition policy on student food selection and sales in Texas. American Journal of Public Health. 99(4):706-712.

Interpretive Summary: We assessed whether the 2004 Texas Public School Nutrition Policy improved student lunch food selections. We collected lunch food production records from 47 schools in 11 Texas school districts for the school years before (2003–2004) and after (2004– 2005) the Texas policy was implemented. The servings of fruit, vegetables (regular and fried), and milk served each day in the cafeterias were calculated. Twenty-three schools from 5 districts provided records of a la carte sales of candy, chips, desserts, drinks, ice cream, and water. Regardless of district and school size, cafeterias served significantly fewer high-fat vegetable items per student after the policy. Snack bar sales of large bags of chips were significantly reduced, and baked chips sales significantly increased after the policy. The state school food policy changes improved the foods served or sold to students at school.

Technical Abstract: We assessed the statewide impact of the 2004 Texas Public School Nutrition Policy on foods and beverages served or sold in schools. We collected lunch food production records from 47 schools in 11 Texas school districts for the school years before (2003–2004) and after (2004–2005) policy implementation. Cafeteria servings of fruit, vegetables (regular and fried), and milk served each day were calculated. Twenty-three schools from 5 districts provided records of a la carte sales of candy, chips, desserts, drinks, ice cream, and water. We examined aggregated school-level differences in total items served or sold per day per student between study years. School demographics were similar to state data. Regardless of district and school size, cafeterias served significantly fewer high-fat vegetable items per student post policy (P<.001). Post policy snack bar sales of large bags of chips were significantly reduced (P=.006), and baked chips sales significantly increased (P=.048). School food policy changes have improved foods served or sold to students. It is not known whether improved lunch choices influence consumption for the whole day.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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