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Perceived Reactions of Elementary School Students to Changes in School Lunches after Implementation of the United States Department of Agriculture’s New Meals Standards: Minimal Backlash, but Rural and Socioeconomic Disparities Exist

September 3, 2014 Comments off

Perceived Reactions of Elementary School Students to Changes in School Lunches after Implementation of the United States Department of Agriculture’s New Meals Standards: Minimal Backlash, but Rural and Socioeconomic Disparities Exist
Source: Childhood Obesity

Background:
Updated standards for meals sold through the USDA’s National School Lunch Program took effect at the beginning of the 2012–2013 school year. The current study assessed the perceptions of school staff regarding student reactions to these changes in school lunches and how perceptions varied across schools.

Methods:
Mailback surveys were gathered from administrators and food service staff at a nationally representative sample of 557 US public elementary schools in the second half of the 2012–2013 school year.

Results:
Half of the respondents (56.4%) agreed that students complained about the meals at first, but 70% agreed that students like the new lunches. Perceived student complaints were significantly higher among respondents from rural schools (n=184) than from urban (n=127) or suburban (n=171) schools. Respondents at rural schools also were more likely to report that they perceived that fewer students were purchasing the meals and that students were consuming less of the meals than during the previous year. Perceived student complaints were higher at schools not offering regular (i.e., higher-fat) pizza. Respondents at socioeconomically disadvantaged schools (>66% of students eligible for free/reduced-priced meals) perceived that more students were buying lunch and that students were eating more of the meal than in the previous year.

Conclusions:
Perceptions of school personnel suggest reasonable acceptance of school lunches subsequent to revisions. Given the importance of offering healthful foods at school, the revised USDA meals standards are a promising strategy to improve the diets of children.

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Special Issue of Childhood Obesity Journal Celebrates 2nd Anniversary of Let’s Move! Initiative With Foreword by First Lady Michelle Obama

February 11, 2012 Comments off

Special Issue of Childhood Obesity Journal Celebrates 2nd Anniversary of Let’s Move! Initiative With Foreword by First Lady Michelle Obama

Source: Childhood Obesity
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert released a special issue of the journal Childhood Obesity celebrating the second anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, with a special Foreword by Mrs. Obama. The issue has a wide range of insightful contributions from leaders in the fight against childhood obesity including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, NFL quarterback Drew Brees, Stephen Daniels, MD, PhD, Sandra Hassink, MD, Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, Margo Wootan, DSc, and Editor-in-Chief David Katz, MD, MPH. The issue is available free online.
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