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The New Federal School Nutrition Standards and Meal Patterns: Early Evidence Examining the Influence on Student Dietary Behavior and the School Food Environment

Published:December 10, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2016.10.031
      The federally funded National School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program enable participating school districts to provide breakfast and lunch meals to children, either for free or at a reduced price depending on eligibility, or at full price.
      • Hirschman J.
      • Chriqui J.F.
      School food and nutrition policy, monitoring and evaluation in the USA.
      Children receive free or reduced-price meals in cases where they reside in homes with household income ≤1.30 or ≤1.85 of the federal income poverty guidelines, respectively.

      US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Child nutrition programs: Income eligibility guidelines. 56 Federal Register 15501-15504 (2016).

      The meals must meet nutrition standards and meal patterns, which have evolved as nutrition knowledge has advanced over the years.
      • Hirschman J.
      • Chriqui J.F.
      School food and nutrition policy, monitoring and evaluation in the USA.
      The latest revisions to the nutrition standards and meal patterns, implemented during fall 2012, were initiated by a requirement in the 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act to update the school meal nutrition standards to align with the 2005 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
      • Hirschman J.
      • Chriqui J.F.
      School food and nutrition policy, monitoring and evaluation in the USA.

      US Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.

      At the request of the US Department of Agriculture, an Institute of Medicine committee convened in 2008 to prepare a report with updated recommendations for the nutrition standards and meal patterns.
      The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required that the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meal patterns be revised based on the Institute of Medicine recommendations.

      US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/CNR_2010.htm. Accessed June 1, 2016.

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        • Chriqui J.F.
        School food and nutrition policy, monitoring and evaluation in the USA.
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      3. US Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.

      4. US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/CNR_2010.htm. Accessed June 1, 2016.

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      Biography

      K. W. Cullen is a professor, Department of Pediatrics, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX.

      Biography

      J. M. Dave is an assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX.