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School Lunch Consumption Among 3 Food Service Providers in New Orleans

15 Jan 2018

ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND

Louisiana has one of the highest rates of overweight and obese children in the United States. The Healthy School Food Collaborative (HSFC) was created to allow New Orleans's schools to select their own healthy school Food Service Provider (FSP) with requirements for higher nutritional standards than traditional options. The goal of this cross-sectional study was to examine whether HSFC membership was associated with lunch consumption rates in elementary school children.

METHODS

An 8-week plate waste study examining 18,070 trays of food among fourth and fifth graders was conducted. Participants included 7 schools and the 3 FSPs (2 HSFC and 1 non-HSFC member) that serviced them. Mixed models analysis examined whether consumption rates of food items differed among FSPs.

RESULTS

On average, students consumed 307 cal during lunch. Analyses showed significant differences in consumption rates of entrée, vegetables, fruit, and milk between the 3 FSPs (p < .01). The highest consumption rate was among entrées at 65%. One HSFC provider had consumption levels consistent with the non-HSFC FSP.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, students consumed less than 60% of the US Department of Agriculture recommended calories for school lunch. While overall caloric consumption was higher among the non-HSFC schools, interventions to increase lunch consumption across all schools are needed.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of School Health