Elementary school participation in the united states department of agriculture's team nutrition program is associated with more healthful school lunches

Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Lindsey Turner, Frank J. Chaloupka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To assess school-level characteristics associated with Team Nutrition (TN) program participation, and compare the availability of food items in school lunches in participating vs nonparticipating schools. Methods: Cross-sectional study with a nationally representative sample of 2,489 elementary schools in the United States. A mail-back survey was used to collect school administrator-reported annual data on availability of selected healthful and unhealthful lunch items between 2006-2007 and 2009-2010. Multivariate regression analyses was used to predict the availability of food items in school lunches based on TN participation. Results: Team Nutrition participation was higher among schools in the south, in rural areas, and in states with stronger nutrition policies. Program participation was higher in schools with mostly low-income students and where a dietitian was on staff. Participating schools were more likely to offer healthful items and less likely to serve unhealthful items during lunch. Conclusions and Implications: The TN program has the potential to help schools offer healthier school meals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-738
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Fingerprint

United States Department of Agriculture
Lunch
Food
Nutrition Policy
Nutritionists
Postal Service
Administrative Personnel
Meals
Multivariate Analysis
Cross-Sectional Studies
Regression Analysis

Keywords

  • School food environment
  • Team nutrition program
  • USDA food and nutrition programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

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title = "Elementary school participation in the united states department of agriculture's team nutrition program is associated with more healthful school lunches",
abstract = "Objective: To assess school-level characteristics associated with Team Nutrition (TN) program participation, and compare the availability of food items in school lunches in participating vs nonparticipating schools. Methods: Cross-sectional study with a nationally representative sample of 2,489 elementary schools in the United States. A mail-back survey was used to collect school administrator-reported annual data on availability of selected healthful and unhealthful lunch items between 2006-2007 and 2009-2010. Multivariate regression analyses was used to predict the availability of food items in school lunches based on TN participation. Results: Team Nutrition participation was higher among schools in the south, in rural areas, and in states with stronger nutrition policies. Program participation was higher in schools with mostly low-income students and where a dietitian was on staff. Participating schools were more likely to offer healthful items and less likely to serve unhealthful items during lunch. Conclusions and Implications: The TN program has the potential to help schools offer healthier school meals.",
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