Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2003
Publication Date: 9/1/2003
Citation: Thompson, V.J., Cullen, K. 2003. Contribution of school lunch to daily energy, fat, fruit, juice, vegetable and beverage consumption of 7th and 8th grade students. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association. 103(9 Suppl 1):A-63. Interpretive Summary: Not required for an abstract.
Technical Abstract: National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meals are designed to meet the Dietary Guidelines and supply fruit (F), juice (J), vegetables (V) & milk for school children. Little is known about the contribution of NSLP meals to children's energy, fat, F, V, milk, and other beverage consumption. Up to six days of food records were collected from 102 7th and 8th grade students (47% African-American, 40% Hispanic, 10% White, 2% Asian; 43% boys; 50% 85th percentile for weight) attending two low-income Houston area middle schools. The majority of the students were eligible for free/reduced price meals, and all students had access to snack bars and vending machines during lunch. Mean consumption was computed using NDS and hand coding. Mean daily consumption was 1798 kilocalories (kcal) and 38% of kcal from fat. School lunch meals contributed 607 kcal (34% of daily intake) and 40% of kcal from fat. Only 16% (n=17) of students reported consuming any fruit and 23% (n=23) reported consuming regular V (i.e., no French fries) at school. Students' daily mean consumption of F and regular V was 0.16 serving and 0.66 serving, respectively. School lunch consumption provided 0.10 F serving (63%) and 0.02 regular V serving (21%) of their daily mean consumption. Student mean daily juice consumption was 2 oz. and sweetened beverage consumption was 16 oz, with school lunch providing 5% of daily juice consumption and 32% of sweetened beverage consumption. Daily milk consumption was 6.5 oz with school lunch providing 37% (2.44 oz). The lunch consumption at school of these 7th and 8th grade students did not meet the NSLP guidelines. Intervention Strategies should be developed to enable 7th and 8th grade students to make healthy food choices at school.