How Do We Actually Put Smarter Snacks in Schools? NOURISH (Nutrition Opportunities to Understand Reforms Involving Student Health) Conversations with Food-Service Directors
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 used direct observation of foods and beverages in schools to assess compliance with the Massachusetts standards. Semi-structured interviews with school FSD conducted in 2013 and 2014 were analyzed for major implementation themes, of which some were explored in relation to compliance. Seven major themes were raise by more than two-thirds of participating school districts: 1) taking measures for successful transition; 2) communicating with vendors/manufacturers; 3) using tools to identify compliant foods and beverages; 4) receiving support from leadership; 5) grappling with issues not covered by the law; 6) anticipating changes in sales of competitive foods and beverages; and 7) anticipating changes in sales of school meals. Each theme was mentioned by the majority of more-compliant school districts (65-81%), with themes being raised more frequently after the second year of implementation (range increase 4-14%). FSD in more-compliant districts were more likely to talk about themes than those in less-compliant districts.
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
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. … 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