Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: The impact of school socioeconomic status on student lunch consumption after implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition policy

Authors
item Cullen, Karen -
item Watson, Kathleen -
item Fithian, Ashley -

Submitted to: Journal of School Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2009
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Watson, K.B., Fithian, A.R. 2009. The impact of school socioeconomic status on student lunch consumption after implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition policy. Journal of School Health. 79(11):525-531.

Interpretive Summary: Foods available in school influence student intake. This study compared the impact of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy on school food choices of low- and middle- income students in sixth through eighth grades. Students in one middle socioeconomic status (SES) and one low SES school filled out lunch food records before (2001/2002) and after (2005/2006) the Texas policy began. Regardless of school year, the low SES group consumed less fat, sweetened beverages, candy, and more vitamin C and calcium than the middle SES group. The policy resulted in significant improvements in healthy food choices for the middle SES school students. Whether the dietary behaviors in school influence dietary intake for the entire day is unknown.

Technical Abstract: This study compared the impact of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy on lunch consumption of low- and middle-income students in sixth through eighth grades. Students in one middle socioeconomic status (SES), and one low SES school completed lunch food records before (2001/2002), and after (2005/2006) implementation of the Texas policy. Students recorded amount and source of foods/beverages consumed. Two-way analyses of variance with year and school SES as factors were performed to compare consumption by school SES before and after implementation of the Texas policy. Regardless of year, the low SES group consumed less fat, sweetened beverages, and candy, and more vitamin C and calcium than the middle SES group. There were more significant improvements in dietary patterns for the middle SES school students post-policy, particularly from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meal. The middle SES school students reported significantly higher percentages of less healthy items from home post-policy. Overall, low SES school students consumed more healthy lunches at school compared with middle SES school students, and the Texas policy improved middle SES school student dietary intakes. Whether the dietary behaviors in school influence dietary intake for the entire day is unknown.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page