Start Date: September 2011

ID #: 69297

Principal Investigator: David Frisvold, PhD

Organization: Emory University

Funding Round: Round 6

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The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 includes the first increase in the reimbursement rate for school meals in over 30 years and will likely become effective in 2012-2013. The rationale for increasing this rate is to induce schools to offer more nutritious meals. However, there is almost no previous research about whether schools will effectively use the additional funds to provide more nutritious meals to students. This project aims to provide evidence of how the federal reimbursement rate influences the nutritional content of breakfasts offered through the School Breakfast Program (SBP). To achieve this aim, the nutritional quality of breakfasts in schools with different reimbursement rates (based on the percent of students in the school who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals) will be compared. For the SBP, schools receive an additional $0.28 per meal if they are categorized as severe need. Data from the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study-III and 2006 School Health Policies and Practices Study will provide nationally representative samples of schools to compare those just above and below the threshold for receiving the additional reimbursement in the SBP using a regression discontinuity design.

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