Advertisement

State Laws Are Associated with School Lunch Duration and Promotion Practices

Published:October 27, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2017.08.116

      Abstract

      Background

      The changes in school meal programs stemming from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 have expanded interest in strategies that increase student participation in school lunch and reduce plate waste. However, it remains unclear what factors are associated with schools’ use of such strategies.

      Objective

      This study examines whether state laws are associated with two types of school meal-related practices: (a) using promotional strategies (ie, taste tests, using posters or announcements) and (b) duration of lunch periods.

      Design

      This cross-sectional study utilized the nationally representative 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study, combined with corresponding state laws gathered by the National Wellness Policy Study. School data were available from 414 public schools in 43 states.

      Main outcome measures

      Outcome measures included 16 strategies to promote school meals and the amount of time students had to eat lunch after being seated.

      Statistical analyses performed

      Multivariate logistic regression and Poisson regression were used to examine associations between state laws and school practices, after accounting for school demographic characteristics.

      Results

      Compared to schools in states with no law about engaging stakeholders in meal programs, schools in states with a law were more likely to conduct taste tests (64% vs 44%, P=0.016), collect suggestions from students (67% vs 50%, P=0.017), and invite family members to a school meal (71% vs 53%, P=0.015). Schools used more promotion strategies in states with a law than in states without a law (mean=10.4 vs 8.8, P=0.003). Schools were more likely to provide students at least 30 minutes to eat lunch after being seated in states with laws that addressed a minimum amount of time for lunch duration (43% vs 27%, P=0.042).

      Conclusions

      State-level policy provisions are associated with school practices. Policy development in more states may support school practices that promote lunch participation and consumption.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. Nutrition standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; Final Rule, 7 CFR § § 210(2012). 7 CFR § § (2012). http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-26/pdf/2012-1010.pdf. Accessed July 31, 2017.

        • Terry-McElrath Y.M.
        • O’Malley P.M.
        • Johnston L.D.
        Foods and beverages offered in US public secondary schools through the National School Lunch Program from 2011-13: Early evidence of improved nutrition and reduced disparities.
        Prev Med. 2015; 78: 52-58
        • Merlo C.
        • Brener N.
        • Kann L.
        • McManus T.
        • Harris D.
        • Mugavero K.
        School-level practices to increase availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and reduce sodium in school meals—United States, 2000, 2006, and 2014.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015; 78: 52-85
        • Turner L.
        • Ohri-Vachaspati P.
        • Powell L.M.
        • Chaloupka F.J.
        Improvements and disparities in types of foods and milk beverages offered in elementary school lunches, 2006-07 to 2012-13.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2016; 13: 1-9
        • Story M.
        • Nanney M.S.
        • Schwartz M.B.
        Schools and obesity prevention: Creating school environments and policies to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
        Milbank Q. 2009; 87: 71-100
        • Taber D.R.
        • Chriqui J.F.
        • Powell L.
        • Chaloupka F.J.
        Association between state laws governing school meal nutrition content and student weight status: Implications for new USDA school meal standards.
        JAMA Pediatr. 2013; 167: 513-519
      2. US Department of Agriculture. Strategic Plan FY 2014-2018. https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-strategic-plan-fy-2014-2018.pdf. Accessed August 7, 2017.

      3. US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Buzby JC, Guthrie JF. Plate Waste in School Nutrition Programs: Final Report to Congress. 2002. Report No. E-FAN-02-009. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/43131/31216_efan02009.pdf?v=41423. Published March 2002. Accessed September 19, 2017.

        • Cohen J.F.
        • Richardson S.
        • Austin S.B.
        • Economos C.D.
        • Rimm E.B.
        School lunch waste among middle school students: Nutrients consumed and costs.
        Am J Prev Med. 2013; 44: 114-121
        • Cohen J.F.W.
        • Richardson S.
        • Parker E.
        • Catalano P.J.
        Impact of the new U. S. Department of Agriculture school meal standards on food selection, consumption, and waste.
        Am J Prev Med. 2014; 46: 388-394
        • Schwartz M.B.
        • Henderson K.E.
        • Read M.
        • Danna N.
        • Ickovics J.R.
        New school meal regulations increase fruit consumption and do not increase total plate waste.
        Child Obes. 2015; 11: 242-247
        • Bergman E.A.
        • Buergel N.S.
        • Englund T.F.
        • Femrite A.
        The relationship between the length of the lunch period and nutrient consumption in the elementary school lunch setting.
        J Child Nutr Manage. 2004; 28
      4. American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses. Health, Mental Health and Safety Guidelines for Schools. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2005.

      5. US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Changing the Scene: Improving the School Nutrition Environment. A Guide to Local Action. www.nfsmi.org/Foundations/lesson4/F4_04ChangeSceneGuide.pdf. Published September 2000. Accessed January 31, 2017.

        • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health
        School health guidelines to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011; 60: 1-80
        • Gosliner W.
        School-level factors associated with increased fruit and vegetable consumption among students in California middle and high schools.
        J Sch Health. 2014; 84: 559-568
        • Cohen J.F.
        • Jahn J.L.
        • Richardson S.
        • Cluggish S.A.
        • Parker E.
        • Rimm E.B.
        Amount of time to eat lunch is associated with children's selection and consumption of school meal entrée, fruits, vegetables, and milk.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016; 116: 123-128
        • Birch L.L.
        Development of food preferences.
        Ann Rev Nutr. 1999; 19: 41-62
        • Lakkakula A.
        • Geaghan J.P.
        • Wong W.-P.
        • Zanovec M.
        • Pierce S.H.
        • Tuuri G.
        A cafeteria-based tasting program increased liking of fruits and vegetables by lower, middle and upper elementary school-age children.
        Appetite. 2011; 57: 299-302
        • Cirignano S.M.
        • Fitzgerald N.
        • Hughes L.J.
        • Savoca L.
        • Morgan K.
        • Grenci A.
        In-classroom fruit and vegetable tastings offer potential for increasing consumption among third through sixth grade children.
        J Child Nutr Manage. 2014; 38
        • Bellows L.L.
        • Conlong T.
        • Cunningham-Sabo L.
        • Johnson S.L.
        Opportunities in the classroom or cafeteria for a “tasting challenge” to influence first grade students’ willingness to try new foods.
        J Child Nutr Manage. 2015; 39
        • Cohen J.F.
        • Rimm E.B.
        • Bryn Austin S.
        • Hyatt R.R.
        • Kraak V.I.
        • Economos C.
        A food service intervention improves whole grain access at lunch in rural elementary schools.
        J Sch Health. 2014; 84: 212-219
        • Cohen J.F.
        • Smit L.A.
        • Parker E.
        • et al.
        Long-term impact of a chef on school lunch consumption: Findings from a 2-year pilot study in Boston middle schools.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012; 112: 927-933
        • Hanks A.S.
        • Just D.R.
        • Brumberg A.
        Marketing vegetables in elementary school cafeterias to increase uptake.
        Pediatrics. 2016; 138: 1-9
        • Gabrielyan G.
        • Hanks D.S.
        • Hoy K.
        • Just D.R.
        • Wansink B.
        Who’s adopting the smarter lunchroom approach? Individual characteristics of innovative food service directors.
        Eval Program Plann. 2017; 60: 72-80
      6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results from the School Health Policies and Practices Study 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/shpps/pdf/shpps-508-final_101315.pdf. Accessed September 16, 2016.

      7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nutrition services school questionnaire. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/shpps/files/questionnaires/nutrl2014questionnaire.pdf. Accessed August 1, 2017.

      8. US Census Bureau. Census regions and divisions of the United States. https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/reference/us_regdiv.pdf. Accessed August 1, 2017.

      9. [dataset] Market Data Retrieval. Education database. http://schooldata.com/education-database/#k12. Accessed August 1, 2017.

      10. US Department of Agriculture. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP): What does it mean for your school or local educational agency? http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cn/CEPfactsheet.pdf. Accessed September 16, 2016.

      11. National Center for Education Statistics. Free or reduced priced lunch: A proxy for poverty? http://nces.ed.gov/blogs/nces/post/free-or-reduced-price-lunch-a-proxy-for-poverty. Accessed September 26, 2016.

        • Piekarz-Porter E.
        • Chriqui J.F.
        • Schermbeck R.M.
        • Leider J.
        • Lin W.
        The Active Role States Have Played in Helping to Transform the School Wellness Environment through Policy, School Years 2006-07 through 2014-15.
        Bridging the Gap Program and the National Wellness Policy Study, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL2017 (Accessed August 1, 2017)
      12. National Association of School Boards of Education. State School Health Policy Database. http://www.nasbe.org/healthy_schools/hs/map.php. Accessed September 16, 2016.

      13. National Cancer Institute. Classification of Laws Associated with School Students. http://class.cancer.gov. Accessed September 16, 2016.

      14. Trust for America’s Health. F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future, 2013. http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/TFAH2013FasInFatReportFinal%209.9.pdf. Accessed September 16, 2016.

      15. Stata Statistical Software [computer program]. Version 13. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP; 2013.

        • Schneider L.
        • Chriqui J.
        • Nicholson L.
        • Turner L.
        • Gourdet C.
        • Chaloupka F.
        Are farm-to-school programs more common in states with farm-to-school-related laws?.
        J Sch Health. 2012; 82: 210-216
        • Chriqui J.F.
        • Turner L.
        • Taber D.R.
        • Chaloupka F.J.
        Association between district and state policies and US public elementary school competitive food and beverage environments.
        JAMA Pediatr. 2013; 167: 714-722
        • Cullen K.W.
        • Watson K.B.
        The impact of the Texas public school nutrition policy on student food selection and sales in Texas.
        Am J Public Health. 2009; 99: 706-712
        • Woodward-Lopez G.
        • Gosliner W.
        • Samuels S.E.
        • Craypo L.
        • Kao J.
        • Crawford P.B.
        Lessons learned from evaluations of California's statewide school nutrition standards.
        Am J Public Health. 2010; 100: 2137-2145
      16. University of Washington, School of Public Health, Nutritional Sciences Program. Lunch Time at School: How Much Is Enough? An Assessment of School Lunch Seat-Time in Seattle Public Schools; March 2015. http://depts.washington.edu/nutr/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Time-For-Lunch-FINAL_NUTR531-winter2015-1.pdf. Accessed August 7, 2017.

      17. Center for American Progress. Reimagining the School Day: Innovative Schedules for Teaching and Learning. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/reports/2017/02/23/426723/reimagining-the-school-day/. Published February 23, 2017. Accessed August 7, 2017.

      18. United Federation of Teachers. Lunch periods. http://www.uft.org/our-rights/know-your-rights/lunch-periods. Accessed August 7, 2017.

      19. US Department of Agriculture. Team Nutrition Training Grants. https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/team-nutrition-training-grants. Updated April 20, 2017. Accessed August 7, 2017.

        • Piekarz E.
        • Schermbeck R.
        • Young S.K.
        • Leider J.
        • Ziemann M.
        • Chriqui J.F.
        School District Wellness Policies: Evaluating Progress and Potential for Improving Children’s Health Eight Years after the Federal Mandate. School Years 2006-07 through 2013-14.
        Bridging the Gap Program and the National Wellness Policy Study, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL2016

      Biography

      L. Turner is a research professor, College of Education, Boise State University, Boise, ID.

      Biography

      J. Leider is a research specialist, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

      Biography

      E. Piekarz-Porter is a legal researcher, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

      Biography

      J. F. Chriqui is a professor, Division of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, and fellow, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

      Biography

      M. B. Schwartz is the director, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and a professor, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs.

      Biography

      C. Merlo is a health scientist, School Health Branch, Division of Population Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

      Biography

      N. Brener is team lead, Survey Operations and Dissemination, Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.