The Impact of the Updated National School Lunch Program Meal Standards on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Elementary School Students in Cache County Utah
Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences
Due to the short time the updated National School Lunch Program standards have been in place since fall of 2012, few research studies have explored what effect these new standards have had on fruit and vegetable (F/V) consumption, particularly among elementary school students. Because the new standards require schools to offer students more F/V than before, researchers are interested to know if F/V consumption has indeed increased.
The participants in the study were enrolled in a program to motivate students to eat more F/V – the Food Dudes program. The results of the data analysis found that most students, regardless of grade, were eating less F/V initially after the new standards were in place. However, the group of students receiving prizes from the Food Dudes program actually ate more F/V over time instead of less. Also, F/V consumption for the first spring under the new standards did not decrease as much as it had during the spring under the old standards.
These results indicate that, despite initial declines in F/V consumption, students could be adjusting to the updated standards. Also, students who have participated in the incentives group of the Food Dudes program did not show a drop in F/V consumption, even during the first semester the new standards were in place. Future studies should look at the current F/V intake of students under the updated guidelines now that they have been in place for several school years, as well as at additional intervention programs to increase F/V consumption among this population.
Fox, Jillian C., "The Impact of the Updated National School Lunch Program Meal Standards on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Elementary School Students in Cache County Utah" (2015). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 4365.
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