Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Schools help kids choose carrots over candy bars

Date:
November 13, 2013
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
When schools adopt healthful nutrition policies and practices, kids' diets improve. According to new research, when schools offered snacks in lunchtime a la carte or vending that were mostly or entirely healthful, students responded with improvements in their diets.

Schools can influence and improve children's diets.
Credit: Courtesy of MSU

When schools adopt healthful nutrition policies and practices, kids' diets improve.

According to new research led by Michigan State University and published in the current issue of Childhood Obesity, when schools offered snacks in lunchtime a la carte or vending that were mostly or entirely healthful, students responded with improvements in their diets, said Katherine Alaimo, MSU associate professor of food, science and human nutrition.

"When healthful food options are offered, students will select them, eat them and improve their diet," she said. "Our study shows that schools can make the kinds of changes required by the forthcoming USDA guidelines, and these changes can have a positive impact on children's nutrition."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will ask schools to implement its Smart Snacks nutrition standards on July 1, 2014. Those recommendations will set limits on calories, salt, sugar and fat in foods and beverages, as well as promote snack foods with more whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Alaimo and her team of researchers tested standards similar to the USDA's new requirements and demonstrated that Smart Snacks has the potential to improve students' eating habits.

For example, schools that started healthful snacks in lunchtime a la carte or vending programs boosted their students' overall daily consumption of fruit by 26 percent, vegetables by 14 percent and whole grains by 30 percent. Students also increased their consumption of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C.

For the study, researchers also compared schools that adopted a variety of nutrition programs and policies. Some schools made only limited changes, while others implemented more comprehensive programs to assess and improve the school's nutrition environment.

Changes schools made included raising nutrition standards for snacks and beverages, offering taste tests of healthful foods and beverages to students, marketing healthful foods in school and removing advertisements of unhealthful foods. When schools implemented three or more new nutrition practices or policies, students' overall diets improved.

"Creating school environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice allows students to practice lessons learned in the classroom and form good habits at an early age, laying a foundation for a healthy future," said Shannon Carney Oleksyk, contributing author and healthy living adviser for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

What made the study unique, in part, was that the researchers measured students' overall diets, not just what they ate in school.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katherine Alaimo, Shannon C. Oleksyk, Nick B. Drzal, Diane L. Golzynski, Jennifer F. Lucarelli, Yalu Wen, and Ellen M. Velie. Effects of Changes in Lunch-Time Competitive Foods, Nutrition Practices, and Nutrition Policies on Low-Income Middle-School Children's Diets. Childhood Obesity, November 2013

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Schools help kids choose carrots over candy bars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113130143.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2013, November 13). Schools help kids choose carrots over candy bars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113130143.htm
Michigan State University. "Schools help kids choose carrots over candy bars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113130143.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins