Effects of Changes in Lunch-Time Competitive Foods, Nutrition Practices, and Nutrition Policies on Low-Income Middle-School Children’s Diets
This article discusses the results of the School Nutrition Advances Kids (SNAK) project which examined the effectiveness of various nutrition interventions on the diets of lower-income middle school students in Michigan. Schools were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: 1) completed an assessment of nutrition education policies and environments using the Healthy School Action Tools (HSAT) and implemented an action plan; 2) completed the HSAT, implemented an action plan, and convened a student nutrition action team; 3) completed the HSAT and implemented an action plan and a Michigan State Board of Education nutrition policy in their cafeteria a la carte lines; and 4) a control group. Researchers found that students in schools that made improvements in nutrition practices and policies improved intake of key nutrients and food groups more than students in schools that had made few policy and practice improvements. Schools that made 3-6 and 7-14 nutrition practice changes significantly increased student intake of both fiber and fruit, as compared to schools making 0-2 nutrition practice changes. Schools that introduced mostly healthful foods in competitive venues at lunch saw the most dietary improvements among students.
The Michigan Healthy School Action Tools (HSAT) is an online self-assessment and action planning process for schools seeking to improve their health policies and practices. This study evaluated whether undertaking the Michigan HSAT process and receiving assistance from a facilitator and a small amount of grant funding resulted in (1) … More
The primary goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of two interventions on improved nutrition behaviors among low-income students. These on-going interventions have been initiated by key stakeholder groups in response to current school nutrition/wellness legislation. In the first intervention, low-income middle schools will receive access to comprehensive … More
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More