The impact of the new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) meal patterns on student food selection and consumption at breakfast
Dimas, Aubrey Nicole
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This study examined the effect of the new USDA School Breakfast Program (SBP) guidelines on student fruit selection and consumption. Observations of breakfast selection and consumption were obtained from 120 students in Kindergarten through 8th grade in a Texas school district in the fall of 2011. Of the 37,000 students, 26% qualified for free/reduced price meals (FRP). Four low (49-79% FRP) and four middle-income elementary schools (7-18% FRP), and two low (34% FRP) and two middle-income (20% FRP) intermediate schools participated. Schools were matched on grade level and FRP. Schools were allowed selection of two fruit servings (intervention) or one fruit serving (control) at breakfast. Compared to control schools, more intervention students selected two fruit servings (p=0.007). However, the mean amount of fruit consumed did not differ. The results suggest the increase in SBP fruit servings does not necessarily result in an increase in student fruit selection and consumption.