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.
Effects of Changes in Lunch-Time Competitive Foods, Nutrition Practices, and Nutrition Policies on Low-Income Middle-School Children’s Diets
The Michigan Healthy School Action Tools Process Generates Improvements in School Nutrition Policies and Practices, and Student Dietary Intake
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
Evaluating the Impact of Two School Nutrition Policy and Environmental Interventions on Low-Income Middle-School Students in Michigan
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
Farm-to-School Education Grants Reach Low-Income Children and Encourage Them to Learn About Fruits and Vegetables
For children from low-income families, school meals are a significant portion of daily caloric intake and hence an opportunity to address food insecurity. Many states have pursued legislation to institutionalize programs such as farm to school that aim to improve the quality of school meals and acceptance of healthy foods … More