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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Middle-school students' school lunch consumption does not meet the new Institute of Medicine's National School Lunch Program recommendations

Authors
item Cullen, Karen -
item Watson, Kathleen -
item Dave, Jayna -

Submitted to: Public Health Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 14, 2011
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Watson, K.B., Dave, J.M. 2011. Middle-school students' school lunch consumption does not meet the new Institute of Medicine's National School Lunch Program recommendations. Public Health Nutrition. 14(10):1876-1881.

Interpretive Summary: This study compared the school lunch consumption of Texas middle school students to the 2009 Institute of Medicine School Meals report recommendations. These new lunch menu patterns propose increasing fruit to one serving and vegetables to two servings at lunch meals. In Spring, 2008, 5,414 lunch food records were collected from middle school students in four middle schools in southeast Texas and nutrients and food groups calculated. About 40 percent selected and consumed a fruit serving. About 2/3 of students selected a vegetable serving, consuming about 67 percent. Less than 4 percent selected a dark green or orange vegetable. Student lunch intake did not meet the new IOM recommendations. Whole grain consumption was low. Interventions with all the stakeholders will be necessary to improve overall student food and beverage selections when the school meal patterns are revised.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare the school lunch consumption of Texas middle-school students with the 2009 Institute of Medicine's (IOM) school meal report recommendations. These new lunch menu patterns increase fruit to one serving and vegetables to two servings, with 50 percent wholegrain food. Lunch food records were collected from middle-school students from four schools in south-east Texas in the Spring of 2008, and entered into the Nutrition Data System for Research software. Average intake was calculated for those consuming meals according to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP; n=5414) and for those consuming lunch from other sources (n=239). The percentage of students selecting each food group was calculated. Students consuming NSLP meals reported consuming almost 1/2 serving of fruit, 3/4 serving of vegetables, 8 oz of milk and 1/3 serving of whole grains at lunch. Non-NSLP consumers reported almost no intake of fruit, vegetables or milk, and consumed 1/4 serving of whole grains at lunch. Among NSLP consumers, about 40 percent selected and consumed a fruit serving. About 2/3 of students selected a vegetable, consuming about 67 percent. Less than 4 percent selected a dark green or orange vegetable. Students' lunch intake did not meet the new IOM recommendations. Whole grains consumption was low. Interventions with all stakeholders will be necessary to improve students' food and beverage selections overall when school meal patterns are revised.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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