Online Program

Evaluating a new school food authority in new orleans: Implications for school-based nutrition

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:18 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Thomas Carton, PhD, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Brittany Booker, MPH, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Taslim van Hattum, LMSW, MPH, School Health Connection, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Lindsey Rudov, MPH(c), Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Jaffer Shariff, BDS, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Marsha Broussard, DrPH, School Health Connection, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
To conceptualize and deliver healthy school food initiatives, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, a nonprofit that supports social entrepreneurship, announced funding in 2012 for New Orleans public schools to serve healthier school lunches. Propeller's goal was to have 5,000 public schoolchildren eating healthier, delicious, and affordable school lunches that met strict nutritional standards. In response, certain New Orleans public schools developed a new School Food Authority and were given the monetary and administrative support to choose their Food Service Management Company independently of their school district. Conveniently selected schools were segmented into groups given their food service – improved lunches versus standard, lunches. The program evaluation consisted of two components and included grades K-5. Part One involved a rigorous analysis of school menus and production records to break daily meals down to a micronutrient level. This information will be compared to the federal and Propeller requirements for school meals to evaluate how well schools adhere to these guidelines. Part Two comprised of an in-depth Plate Waste Study of approximately 2,600 school lunches, and assessed the amount of food and nutrition actually consumed by students. Trained data collectors calculated average pre-lunch weights and post-lunch weights by removing and weighing uneaten food items left on trays. This is the first research to combine a menu analysis and plate waste study to quantify average micronutrient consumption among students and make comparisons between improved and traditional food vendors. Data on micronutrient composition of school menus and micronutrient consumption among students will be presented.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain the new School Food Authority (SFA) in New Orleans public schools and the differences between SFA and non-SFA school meals. Differentiate both components of the SFA Evaluation methodology, including both the menu analysis and plate waste study. Describe how the current evaluation links the menu analysis and plate waste methdologies into one unique study design, allowing for comparisons between food vendors of student consumption patterns at the micronutrient level and adherance to federal guidelines.

Keyword(s): School Health, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have five years of experience in conducting quantitative research in biostatistics, epidemiology, and econometrics, and have been doing school-related research for two years for the School Health Connection (SHC) program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.