and colleagues evaluated the School Lunch Initiative
to examine its effects on students' eating behaviors, attitudes about healthy eating and environmental responsibility, and knowledge about nutrition and food and the environment.
To evaluate program impacts, researchers compared over 200 4th and 5th grade students over a period of 3 years from 4 different schools-2 with highly developed School Lunch Initiative programs and 2 with lesser-developed School Lunch Initiative programs.
Participants completed food diaries and answered questionnaires about their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors as they related to nutrition, food, and the environment.
In addition, researchers conducted interviews with school staff, observed food service environments, collected information on students' academic test scores and body mass index, and had parents of participating students complete a survey related to family and neighborhood characteristics.
In analyzing the data, Rauzon
and colleagues found that the School Lunch Initiative
had positive impacts on students' nutrition knowledge, preference for and consumption of healthy foods, and food-related attitudes.
Author Affiliation: Suzanne Rauzon is with the University of California at Berkeley.
, S., Wang, M., Studer, N., & Crawford, P. (2010).