Healthier Standards for School Meals and Snacks: Impact on School Food Revenues and Lunch Participation Rates
In 2012, the updated U.S. Department of Agriculture school meals standards and a comprehensive competitive food law similar to the fully implemented version of the national Smart Snacks standards went into effect in Massachusetts. This study evaluated the impact of both standards on school food revenues and school lunch participation. Revenue and participation data from 11 Massachusetts school districts were collected from 2011 to 2014 and analyzed in 2015. The association between the change in compliance with the competitive food standards and revenues/participation was assessed using linear regression. Schools experienced declines in school food revenues of $15.40 per student in Year 1 from baseline, due to competitive food revenue losses. In schools with 3 years of data, overall revenues rebounded by the second year post-implementation. Additionally, by Year 2, school lunch participation increased by 15 percent among children eligible for reduced-price meals. Better competitive food compliance was inversely associated with school food revenues in the first year only. No association was seen between the change in compliance and school meal participation. While schools experienced initial revenue losses after implementation of the standards, longer-term school food revenues were not impacted and school meal participation increased among children eligible for reduced-price meals.
In 2012, Massachusetts implemented a state law to establish nutrition standards for competitive foods and beverages sold or provided in public schools, similar to the federal Smart Snacks in School standards. This mixed-methods study aimed to understand food service directors’ (FSD) perspectives and experiences implementing the Massachusetts standards. The study … More
In 2012, Massachusetts implemented a competitive food law similar to the fully implemented version of the national Smart Snack standards. The NOURISH study (Nutrition Opportunities to Understand Reforms Involving Student Health) was created to assess the nutritional quality (compliance) and availability of competitive foods and beverages in middle and high … More
During 2012, Massachusetts adopted comprehensive school competitive food and beverage standards that closely align with Institute of Medicine recommendations and Smart Snacks in School national standards. The NOURISH study examined middle and high schools’ compliance with the Massachusetts standards after the first year of implementation. Employing an observational cohort study … More
In accordance with a Massachusetts school nutrition bill (105 CMR 225.000) passed in 2010, the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Elementary and Secondary Education have developed new nutrition standards for all competitive foods and beverages served in schools in the state. These standards will be the most comprehensive in … More