Project: The Effects of Subsidized School Meals on Children's Diet Quality
Award Year: 2007
Amount of award, fiscal 2007: $140,000.00
Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Mary Kay Fox
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: This study will assess the quality of the diets of school meal participants and nonparticipants, using the updated version of USDA's Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2005). The HEI is a diet quality score that is used by USDA to monitor the success of its food assistance and nutrition programs in promoting healthy eating habits among participants. The new version of the HEI has been substantially revised to match updated nutrition guidance found in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the new MyPyramid. The project will use data from the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-III) to determine the effect of school meal participation on students' diet quality. SNDA-III, the most recent and most comprehensive survey of school meals offered in American schools, includes information on school meals offered, student's participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), NSLP foods selected by students, and complete 24-hour dietary intakes of students. In addition, the study will identify the foods that make the most substantial contribution to HEI-2005 component scores and determine whether these food intake patterns differ for school meal participants and nonparticipants. Results from the study should inform policies designed to improve the effectiveness of the USDA school meal programs in meeting nutrition objectives.
Topic: Child Nutrition, Dietary Intake and Quality, School Lunch and Breakfast
Fox, M., M. Clark, E. Condon, and A. Wilson. Diet Quality of School-Age Children in the U.S. and Association With Participation in the School Meal Programs, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 59, USDA, ERS, February 2010.