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
Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding
Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused … More
Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to … More