May 17, 2016

Are Healthy School Lunch Options Successful?

When schools across the nation improved the nutritional quality of lunches in the 2012-2013 school year, it left many people wondering whether the change would improve children’s eating habits.

The Pew Charitable Trusts issued a brief recently that includes results from four of multiple studies conducted.  The four studies represent those that tracked the largest number of children, and the results indicate that children have been eating healthier.  Three of the four studies measured student food consumption and the fourth evaluated the changes in the nutritional quality of the lunches students chose.

One of the studies completed by researchers from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity compared the amount of food children consumed at 12 Connecticut schools from 2012 to 2014.  The results show an increased consumption of 12.7% for entrees, 18% for vegetables, and 2% for fruits.

Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health, and the University of Washington who studied the eating habits of students from selected schools in Texas, Massachusetts, and Washington also reported positive findings from their studies.