This research brief summarizes findings from an exploratory study of a diverse sample of juvenile justice residential facilities in North Carolina conducted by RTI International. The study examined food service operations, agency and facility level policies and practices pertaining to nutrition, participation in federal school nutrition programs, and additional food service funding sources. The overall goal of this research was twofold. The first was to identify areas for nutrition-related policy and environmental improvements in juvenile justice settings. The second was to examine promising practices and innovative approaches to promote healthy eating in order to influence short- and long-term health outcomes of these youth and their families. The study found that juvenile justice facilities in North Carolina offered innovative programming and opportunities for youth to learn about nutritious foods and healthy lifestyle choices. The findings suggest that North Carolina may be an innovator among juvenile justice residential facilities, and future research is needed to examine the food and beverage environments of facilities across multiple states and facility types.
The Food Environment in Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities in North Carolina
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