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J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Feb;106(2):248-52.

Increasing frequency of lower-fat entrees offered at school lunch: an environmental change strategy to increase healthful selections.

Author information

  • 1Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, 78712-1204, USA. john.bart@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A two-phase study was conducted to determine the effect of an environmental intervention aimed to increase the selection of low- and moderate-fat entrees at school.

DESIGN:

An evaluation of a school-wide intervention followed for two semesters.

SUBJECTS:

Two schools of similar size and demographic data were randomly assigned to either intervention or control. Participants were the children in these schools.

INTERVENTION:

In Phase 1, the rotation of existing entrees was modified such that one of three entree choices was low or moderate in fat. In Phase 2, the number of competing high-fat entrees was reduced from two choices to one.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Data were: (a) entree fat content (determined by a registered dietitian) and (b) the aggregate entree selections compiled from daily selection reports.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED:

Frequency distributions were used to describe entree availability. Two-way analysis of variance indicated differences in the mean daily selection of low-, moderate-, and high-fat entrees.

RESULTS:

In Phase 1 in the intervention school, the number of days that a low-fat entree was offered increased by 70%, with no increase in the rate of selection of the low- or moderate-fat entrees. In Phase 2, both low- and moderate-fat entrees were selected at a higher rate in the intervention school (32.1% and 26.4%, respectively) than the control school (13.8% and 7.5%, respectively), P<0.01.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increasing the availability of low- and moderate-fat entrees is not sufficient to increase their rate of selection. However, their rate of selection is increased as the availability of high-fat entree choices is reduced.

PMID:
16442873
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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