Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Costs, Reach, and Benefits of COVID-19 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer and Grab-and-Go School Meals for Ensuring Youths’ Access to Food During School Closures

School meals are associated with improved nutrition and health for millions of US children, but school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted children’s access to school meals. Two policy approaches, the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, which provided the cash value of missed meals directly to families on debit-like cards to use for More

Date: August 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: School & After School

Pandemic-EBT and Grab-and-Go School Meals: Costs, reach, and benefits of two approaches to feeding children during school closures — Lessons from COVID-19 responses

COVID-related school closures across the United States in spring 2020 disrupted the school meal programs that provide critical access to healthy food for millions of children — including children in elementary and middle school and adolescents in high school — from households with low incomes, leading to increased food insecurity. The United States Department of More

Date: August 2022

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: School & After School

Reducing Student Exposure to Digital Food and Beverage Marketing

Digital marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and adolescents is pervasive and undermines healthy eating. During the COVID-19 pandemic, students’ time spent online for both recreation and school using educational technology doubled from 3.8 to 7.7 hours per day for 12- to13-year-olds, and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities widened with children of color More

Keywords: Digital marketing

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Food Marketing School & After School

Longitudinal Study of Low-Income Families with Young Children: Assessing California Communities’ Experiences with Safety Net Supports Survey (ACCESS)

This is a unique opportunity to assess the longitudinal impact of COVID-19 related relief and recovery policies and existing safety net supports among economically disadvantaged California families raising young children. The goals of this study are to 1) characterize participant’s awareness and understanding of COVID-19 related relief supports such as Pandemic EBT, free school meals, More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Food Access Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Evaluation of Universal Free School Meals

The purpose of this study is to compare the impact of continuing Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) in Maine and California with the impact of de-implementing UFSM in control states during the 2022-23 school year. Specific aims are to examine: (1) school meal participation rates using administrative claims data from 20 states; and (2) household More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: School & After School

Recognizing and Supporting School Meal Programs as a Critical Nutrition Safety Net: Lessons from COVID-19

School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted children’s access to school meals in 2020 and 2021. School food service authorities (SFAs), which are responsible for planning, sourcing, preparing, and serving school meals, had to rapidly convert their usual on-site meal service operations to more flexible and mobile strategies to distribute meals to students More

Date: January 2022

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Elementary Schools’ Response to Student Wellness Needs during the COVID-19 Shutdown: A Qualitative Exploration Using the R = MC2 Readiness Heuristic

During spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying public health advisories forced K-12 schools throughout the United States to suspend in-person instruction. School personnel rapidly transitioned to remote provision of academic instruction and wellness services such as school meals and counseling services. The aim of this study was to investigate how schools responded to More

Keywords: Rural, Urban

Date: December 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: School & After School

Rural Schools: Challenges and Opportunities for School Meal Programs

Children and adolescents living in rural communities are at increased risk of obesity and food insecurity. Schools can play an essential role in addressing diet-related disparities, but multiple factors can impact the cafeteria environment and student participation in school meal programs. School nutrition professionals face unique challenges in meal operations. To develop solutions to these More

Date: November 2021

Resource Type: Research Review

Focus Areas: School & After School

Promising and Low-Cost Strategies to Improve School Meal Consumption

The aim of this research brief is to highlight and summarize the evidence of promising, low-maintenance, and low-cost strategies that can be implemented by school districts to increase the consumption of healthy school meals. All of these strategies have been associated with meaningful improvements in meal consumption and require minimal funding and technical support, making More

Date: October 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: School & After School

Strategies to Improve School Meal Consumption: A Systematic Review

This systematic review evaluates studies examining initiatives, interventions, and policies to increase school meal consumption. Following PRISMA guidelines, this review was conducted using four databases and resulted in a total of 96 studies. The research evidence supports the following strategies to increase school meal consumption: (1) offering students more menu choices; (2) adapting recipes to More

Date: October 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: School & After School