Published: December 2013

ID #: 63044

Journal: Child Obes

Authors: Alaimo K, Oleksyk SC, Drzal NB, et al

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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.

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