Effect of federally-funded school nutrition programs on childhood blood pressure
Methods: Multiple linear regression models were utilized to determine whether receipt of free or reduced-priced meals at school lowered systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure among 930 children aged 8 - 19 years residing in low-educated households during 2007 - 2010. Statistical analyses were adjusted for demographic, social, environmental and anthropometric confounders. Tests for interaction ascertained racial differences in the association between blood pressure and participation in school nutrition programs.
Results: Children receiving free or reduced-priced meals at school had lower DBP compared with those paying full price or carrying meals to school (beta = -2.40, se = 0.76, p < 0.01). SBP was lower in students receiving free or reduced-priced meals compared with those paying full price or carrying meals to school among Hispanic children only (beta = -4.25, se = 1.46, p < 0.01). No associations were found between SBP and participation in school breakfast or lunch programs for Non-Hispanic white or black children.
Conclusions: These results suggest that participation in national school nutrition programs may reduce blood pressure in childhood and subsequently avert or delay the risk for hypertension and hypertensive-related diseases across the life-course.
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Describe the impact of federally-funded school nutrition programs on blood pressure in socioeconomically disadvantaged children. Identify racial differences in the association between childhood blood pressure and participation in national school nutrition programs. Discuss the implications of federally-subsidized school nutrition programs for cardiovascular health across the life-course.
Keyword(s): Child Health, Health Disparities/Inequities
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Principal Investigator of a federally-funded Career Development Award focused on the socio-biological determinants of cardiovascular health across the life-course. Among my scientific interests is the study of the impact of national policies and programs on both childhood and later-life cardiovascular health.
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.