JOURNAL ARTICLE

Availability and consumption of competitive foods in US public schools

Mary Kay Fox, Anne Gordon, Renée Nogales, Ander Wilson
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2009, 109 (2): S57-66
19166673

BACKGROUND: With ongoing efforts to develop and implement school wellness policies, there is a need for information about the availability and consumption of competitive foods in schools.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the availability of competitive foods in US public schools, consumption of competitive foods by children, and contributions of competitive foods to energy intakes.

DESIGN: The study used data from the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study, a cross-sectional study that included a national sample of public school districts, schools, and children in the 2004-2005 school year. On-site observations were used to document the availability of competitive foods and a 24-hour recall was used to assess children's consumption of competitive foods.

SUBJECTS/SETTING: The study included 287 schools and 2,314 children in grades 1 through 12.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Most analyses were limited to estimation of means and proportions. Two-tailed t tests were used to test the significance of differences between children who did and did not eat a school lunch.

RESULTS: In school year 2004-2005, competitive foods were widely available in public schools. Overall, 40% of children consumed one or more competitive foods on a typical school day. The most commonly consumed competitive foods were foods and beverages that were low in nutrients and energy-dense. Children who ate a school lunch were significantly less likely than children who did not eat a school lunch to consume competitive foods (36% vs 45%; P<0.01); however, the leading competitive food choices for both groups of children were foods that were low in nutrients and energy-dense. On average, competitive food consumers who ate school lunches obtained 159 calories from competitive foods that were low in nutrients and energy-dense, compared with 201 calories for competitive food consumers who did not eat school lunches (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In school year 2004-2005, competitive foods were widely available and consumed in US public schools and the most commonly consumed competitive foods were low in nutrients and energy-dense. These data support the need for improvements in school food environments and policies and provide a useful baseline for monitoring change as schools work to make these improvements.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19166673
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"