Abstract

This study evaluated a setting-level intervention designed to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables among low-socioeconomic status elementary and middle school students participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The NSLP provides students with access to fruits and vegetables; however, food served does not necessarily equal food consumed. High rates of waste, especially of fruits and vegetables, are well documented. The current, low-cost intervention altered the choice architecture of the cafeteria by introducing an active, forced choice into the school lunch service. Consumption was measured by observing (n=2,064) and weighing (n=84) student plate waste over two 10-day periods pre-intervention and during implementation. Results show an average daily 15% increase in consumption of both fruits and vegetables during the intervention period. These findings suggest that local schools can actively encourage students to take advantage of fruits and vegetables offered through the NSLP by implementing setting-level changes to the cafeteria environment.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-6869
Print ISSN
1049-2089
Pages
pp. 145-157
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-30
Open Access
No
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