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Nutritional quality of the diets of US public school children and the role of the school meal programs.
J Am Diet Assoc 2009; 109(2 Suppl):S44-56JA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Good nutrition is essential to healthy childhood. Because the school meal programs--the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program--are so widely available, they are in a unique position to influence the nutritional quality of children's diets.

OBJECTIVE

This article assesses the nutritional quality of the diets of US public school children and explores the relationship between children's participation in the school meal programs and the nutritional quality of their diets.

DESIGN

Data were collected as part of the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-III), a nationally representative study fielded during school year 2004-2005. Data on children's dietary intakes were collected through in-person 24-hour dietary recalls. Nutritional quality of children's diets was assessed by estimating the prevalence of inadequate and excessive intakes of energy and nutrients.

SUBJECTS/SETTING

The analysis is based on a nationally representative sample of 2,314 children in grades 1 through 12 from 287 public schools.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED

Nutrient adequacy and excess were assessed by comparing usual nutrient intake distributions to Dietary Reference Intakes and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Propensity score matching was used to examine the relationship between school meal program participation and the prevalence of inadequate and excessive intakes.

RESULTS

The majority of public school children in the United States had nutritionally adequate diets, but 80% had excessive intakes of saturated fat and 92% had excessive intakes of sodium. School meal program participation was associated with reduced prevalence of nutrient inadequacy but with increased prevalence of excessive sodium intakes.

CONCLUSIONS

School meal programs play an important role in the nutritional adequacy of children's diets. However, the association between program participation and excessive sodium intakes, along with the high prevalence of excessive saturated fat intakes among all students, suggest areas for improvement in the meals these programs provide.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc, PO Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543, USA. MClark@Mathematica-mpr.comNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19166672

Citation

Clark, Melissa A., and Mary Kay Fox. "Nutritional Quality of the Diets of US Public School Children and the Role of the School Meal Programs." Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 109, no. 2 Suppl, 2009, pp. S44-56.
Clark MA, Fox MK. Nutritional quality of the diets of US public school children and the role of the school meal programs. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(2 Suppl):S44-56.
Clark, M. A., & Fox, M. K. (2009). Nutritional quality of the diets of US public school children and the role of the school meal programs. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(2 Suppl), pp. S44-56. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2008.10.060.
Clark MA, Fox MK. Nutritional Quality of the Diets of US Public School Children and the Role of the School Meal Programs. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(2 Suppl):S44-56. PubMed PMID: 19166672.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Nutritional quality of the diets of US public school children and the role of the school meal programs. AU - Clark,Melissa A, AU - Fox,Mary Kay, PY - 2008/06/06/received PY - 2009/1/27/entrez PY - 2009/3/17/pubmed PY - 2009/4/7/medline SP - S44 EP - 56 JF - Journal of the American Dietetic Association JO - J Am Diet Assoc VL - 109 IS - 2 Suppl N2 - BACKGROUND: Good nutrition is essential to healthy childhood. Because the school meal programs--the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program--are so widely available, they are in a unique position to influence the nutritional quality of children's diets. OBJECTIVE: This article assesses the nutritional quality of the diets of US public school children and explores the relationship between children's participation in the school meal programs and the nutritional quality of their diets. DESIGN: Data were collected as part of the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-III), a nationally representative study fielded during school year 2004-2005. Data on children's dietary intakes were collected through in-person 24-hour dietary recalls. Nutritional quality of children's diets was assessed by estimating the prevalence of inadequate and excessive intakes of energy and nutrients. SUBJECTS/SETTING: The analysis is based on a nationally representative sample of 2,314 children in grades 1 through 12 from 287 public schools. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Nutrient adequacy and excess were assessed by comparing usual nutrient intake distributions to Dietary Reference Intakes and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Propensity score matching was used to examine the relationship between school meal program participation and the prevalence of inadequate and excessive intakes. RESULTS: The majority of public school children in the United States had nutritionally adequate diets, but 80% had excessive intakes of saturated fat and 92% had excessive intakes of sodium. School meal program participation was associated with reduced prevalence of nutrient inadequacy but with increased prevalence of excessive sodium intakes. CONCLUSIONS: School meal programs play an important role in the nutritional adequacy of children's diets. However, the association between program participation and excessive sodium intakes, along with the high prevalence of excessive saturated fat intakes among all students, suggest areas for improvement in the meals these programs provide. SN - 1878-3570 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19166672/Nutritional_quality_of_the_diets_of_US_public_school_children_and_the_role_of_the_school_meal_programs_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0002-8223(08)02053-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -