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J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 May;104(5):793-8.

Coordinated school health program and dietetics professionals: partners in promoting healthful eating.

Author information

  • 1312 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383, USA. sgross@wcupa.edu

Abstract

Although research indicates that school meal programs contribute to improved academic performance and healthier eating behaviors for students who participate, fewer than 60% of students choose the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program. School meal programs have a difficult time competing with foods that are marketed to young people through sophisticated advertising campaigns. Youth's preferences for fast foods, soft drinks, and salty snacks; mixed messages sent by school personnel; school food preparation and serving space limitations; inadequate meal periods; and lack of education standards for school foodservice directors challenge school meal programs as well. A coordinated school health program offers a framework for meeting these challenges and provides children and adolescents with the knowledge and skills necessary for healthful eating. This article identifies challenges facing school foodservice directors in delivering healthful meals and acquaints dietetics professionals with the coordinated school health program to be used as a tool for addressing unhealthful weight gain and promoting healthful eating.

PMID:
15127066
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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