There is interest among school administrators, researchers, and policymakers for information to guide choices in selecting school-based nutrition interventions and efficiently allocating resources. This study will systematically evaluate the nutrition strategies that schools across the country have initiated for obesity prevention to determine which school nutrition programs and policies are associated with higher or lower rates of overweight and obesity and examine how disparities in program access and intensity might be related to obesity patterns. Specific aims of this study are to: 1) identify trends in the intensity of school nutrition programs and policies over the past 10 years in a national evaluation of elementary and middle schools in diverse communities, and 2) examine the association between the current school nutrition environment and children’s weight status by income and race/ethnicity. This study will use data from the Healthy Communities Study, which involved 130 U.S. communities, each including up to two elementary and two middle schools for a total of 490 schools and 5,100 students. Analysis will focus on weight status and school nutrition environment, including participation in federal and state nutrition programs, implementation of nutrition-related wellness policies, nutrition education, school meal environment, and competitive foods.
Examining the Association Between Schools’ Nutrition Environment and Children’s Weight Status by Income and Race/Ethnicity
Eating School Meals Daily Is Associated with Healthier Dietary Intakes: The Healthy Communities Study
This study examines the association between frequency of participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and children’s dietary intakes. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Dietary Screener Questionnaire was used to measure dietary intake of fruit and vegetables, fiber, whole grains, dairy, calcium, total added sugar, sugar-sweetened … More
Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake … More
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More