The aim of this project is to examine how varied changes to the school food environment affect children’s food choices and dietary intake, lunchroom waste, and overall financial costs. The following environmental interventions will be investigated: 1) removing unhealthy choices from the school lunchroom and promoting the remaining healthy options (Healthy Choices condition); 2) maintaining a range of healthy and less healthy products and nudging students toward the healthy items (Healthy Nudge condition); and 3) maintaining the full range of options without nudging (control condition). Three large schools from an ethnically diverse, severely economically disadvantaged inner-city school district will be recruited and randomly assigned to one of the three conditions. Outcome data will include: 1) competitive food purchases, assessed using electronic point-of-purchase monitoring and supplemented by data from digital cameras; 2) dietary recall data (i.e., caloric intake, fruit/vegetable intake, whole grains, fiber, sodium, sugar, and saturated fat) measured using the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour dietary recall; 3) food waste data analyzed monthly for each food item; and 4) financial (profit/loss) data from the district food service.
Examining Student Reactions to Varied Strategies for Presenting and Promoting Healthy and Unhealthy School Lunch Offerings
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More
Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has emerged as an important healthy food and weight policy over the past five years. Seven US cities and more than 30 countries across the globe have adopted taxes on sugary drinks. Initial evaluations have found that these taxes raise the prices of sugary drinks and … More
Conducting a Large-Scale Surveillance of Public School Environments to Advance Wellness-Related Practices, With a Focus on Rural Schools
Rural disparities in health behaviors and weight status jeopardize the well-being of millions of Americans. Compared to urban children, rural children have higher rates of obesity and consume more calories, less fruit, and fewer vegetables. A health-promoting school environment can modify risk behaviors, and periodic assessment of school environments provides … More