The purpose of this project is to conduct an exploratory, pilot study with three schools to determine how school cafeteria renovations that create choice-based serving lines, a variety of inviting and comfortable seating options, and nutrition education messaging may impact school lunch consumption, seated time, attitudes, and school lunch participation rates. To measure the potential effects of STARCafé on students’ intake, school lunch consumption will be measured using before and after meal digital photography at two months and one academic year post-renovation. Seated time will be measured using the time stamp on before and after meal photos. Healthy eating attitudes of students toward school lunch will be measured using a brief 36-item survey. School lunch participation rates will be assessed using transaction-level point-of-service data. Noise level will be measured using noise measure procedures from prior studies. The research team will assess the fidelity of the STARCafé renovations to the Healthy Eating Design Guidelines at two months and one academic year post-renovation. Finally, the research team will assess the adoption of new healthy food-related policies and programs in the three schools.
Exploring the Effects of School Transformation and Redesign of Cafeterias (STARCafé)
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
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
CSPI developed a case study that provides insights into policy strategy and advocacy best practices that resulted in passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The case study outlines key lessons to help inform nutrition and public health policy initiatives, as well as continued implementation and defense of … More