Salad Bars and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Elementary Schools: A Plate Waste Study


      The object of this study was to determine whether students attending schools with self-service salad bars consume a greater amount of fruits and vegetables compared with students using preportioned servings and to evaluate the relationship between number of items offered and fruit and vegetable consumption. Two hundred ninety-four students in first through fifth grade were randomly selected from two schools with salad bars and two with preportioned servings. Weights of fruit and vegetable items were measured pre- and postconsumption and interobserver agreement ±1 g was ≥95%. Presence of a salad bar was not associated with greater fruit and vegetable consumption. Fruit and vegetable consumption was positively related to the number of fruit and vegetable items offered at salad bars (P<.05), adjusting for sex and grade. Fruit and vegetable variety was associated with elementary school–age children’s fruit and vegetable consumption when using salad bars.
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      M. A. Adams is evaluation coordinator, R. L. Pelletier is program director, M. M. Zive is a registered dietitian, and J. F. Sallis is principal investigator, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.