Salad Bars in Schools: Before and After the New School Nutrition Guidelines
METHODOLOGY: Survey data were collected from a nationally representative sample of elementary schools yearly, between 2006-07 and 2012-13. Data included frequency of offering school lunch salad bars (SLSB), participation in the Team Nutrition (TN) Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), the Farm to School (FTS) program, along with school-level contextual factors. Multivariable regression analyses examined changes in prevalence of salad bars before and associated factors in over 4100 public elementary schools participating in the National School Lunch Program.
RESULTS: The prevalence of SLSB on most days of the week increased from an average 20% before to 29% after the new school nutrition guidelines were proposed (p<.001). After controlling for contextual factors, FFVP and FTS participating schools had 63% and 88% (p’s < .01) higher odds of offering SLSB most days of the week, respectively. Schools with full kitchens had 44% higher odds of offering SLSB on most days.
DISCUSSION: Growth in SLSB prevalence was significant after the new school nutrition guidelines were proposed. There is a strong synergy between school’s having SLSB and participation in federal nutrition initiatives. School level programs and resources such as a full-service kitchen may play an important role in school’s ability to offer SLSB.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Describe the prevalence of salad bars in public elementary schools before and after the new school food guidelines were proposed. Examine school-level factors associated with presence of salad bars. Assess the association of participation in school food initiatives and presence of salad bars in schools.
Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Nutrition
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I planned and analyzed data from the Bridging the Gap Food and Fitness survey. I am a public health nutrition researcher with expertise in examining school policies, programs, and environments.
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.