Project: School Meal Program Participation, Food Consumption Away from School and Home, and Obesity Among Students
Award Year: 2006
Amount of award, fiscal 2006: $240,000.00
Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Philip Gleason
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: The study will determine the effects of participation in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program on key factors involved in childhood obesity. These factors include students’ dietary behaviors (consumption of beverages, low-nutrient energy-dense foods, and fruits and vegetables and calorie intake at school, at home, and away from school/home), weight status, and body mass index (BMI). This study will test two hypotheses. First, participation in school meals is associated with higher mean BMI (after controlling for other factors related to BMI). Second, school meal participants are more likely than nonparticipants to consume less nutritious energy-dense foods and beverages obtained from locations away from school and home, especially if the school meal is considered “healthy.” This research will help policymakers understand the overall effect of school meal participation on obesity as well as distinguish the roles of the food environment both within and outside of school.
Topic: Dietary Intake and Quality, Obesity, School Lunch and Breakfast
Briefel, R., A. Wilson, and P. Gleason. “Consumption of Low-Nutrient, Energy-Dense Foods and Beverages at School, Home, and Other Locations among School Lunch Participants and Nonparticipants,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 109, Issue 2, Supplement, February 2009.
Gleason, P., and A. Dodd.  “School Breakfast Program but Not School Lunch Program Participation is Associated with Lower Body Mass Index,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association,  Vol. 109, Issue 2, Supplement, February 2009.
Gleason, P., R. Briefel, A. Wilson, and A. Dodd. School Meal Program Participation and Its Association with Dietary Patterns and Childhood Obesity, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 55, USDA, ERS, July 2009.