In 2012, the updated U.S. Department of Agriculture school meals standards and a comprehensive competitive food law similar to the fully implemented version of the national Smart Snacks standards went into effect in Massachusetts. This study evaluated the impact of both standards on school food revenues and school lunch participation. Revenue and participation data from 11 Massachusetts school districts were collected from 2011 to 2014 and analyzed in 2015. The association between the change in compliance with the competitive food standards and revenues/participation was assessed using linear regression. Schools experienced declines in school food revenues of $15.40 per student in Year 1 from baseline, due to competitive food revenue losses. In schools with 3 years of data, overall revenues rebounded by the second year post-implementation. Additionally, by Year 2, school lunch participation increased by 15 percent among children eligible for reduced-price meals. Better competitive food compliance was inversely associated with school food revenues in the first year only. No association was seen between the change in compliance and school meal participation. While schools experienced initial revenue losses after implementation of the standards, longer-term school food revenues were not impacted and school meal participation increased among children eligible for reduced-price meals.
Published: April 2016
ID #: 70551
Journal: Am J Prev Med
Authors: Cohen JFW, Gorski MT, Hoffman JA, et al.
Resource Type: Journal Article
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