Placement of School Lunch Salad Bars and Students' Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Methods: A plate waste study was conducted among 533 students across six middle schools in which SLSB placement differed (3 schools with SLSB inside versus 3 with SLSB outside of the serving line). Students’ FV consumption was determined by weighing FV amounts pre and post lunch. A negative binomial model regressed amounts of FV consumed onto SLSB placement, adjusting for gender, grade, race/ethnicity, free/reduced status, day of the week, and nesting of students within schools.
Results: Students in schools with SLSB outside of the line consumed 16.62 ±40.89 grams of FV on average. Students in schools with SLSB inside the serving line consumed 4.82 times (95% CI 3.40–6.81) more FVs compared to students in schools with SLSB outside the line. On average, students with SLSB outside the line wasted less FVs compared to those with SLSB inside the line (30% versus 48%, respectively).
Conclusions: The National School Lunch Program serves lunch to >31 million students daily. Results suggest that placement and the effort required by students to reach SLSBs are important contextual factors that affect students’ FV consumption and waste. Policy implications for the NSLP will be discussed.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Explain how differences in placement of salad bars in school cafeterias results in differences in fruit and vegetable consumption in school cafeterias Discuss how placement of salad bars in school cafeterias results in differences in fruit and vegetable waste in school cafeterias Describe how Behavioral Economic mechanisms may guide research and implementation of salad bars for fruit and vegetable consumption.
Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Child Health Promotion
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-investigator of foundation and federal funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of physical activity and dietary behaviors. My scientific interests include study of the prevalence of physical activity and healthy eating and identification of modifiable environmental determinants of these health behaviors.
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.