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Prev Med. 2014 Apr 16. pii: S0091-7435(14)00144-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.04.013. [Epub ahead of print]

Student receptivity to new school meal offerings: Assessing fruit and vegetable waste among middle school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Author information

  • 1Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: lgase@ph.lacounty.gov.
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • 3Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • 4Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to characterize student receptivity to new menu offerings in the Los Angeles Unified School District by measuring the levels of fruit and vegetable waste after implementation of changes to the school lunch menu in fall 2011.

METHODS:

We measured waste at four randomly selected middle schools in the school district, using two sources: a) food prepared and left over after service (production waste); and b) food that was selected but not eaten by students (plate waste).

RESULTS:

10.2% of fruit and 28.7% of vegetable items prepared at the four schools were left over after service. Plate waste data, collected from 2228 students, suggest that many of them did not select fruit (31.5%) or vegetable (39.6%) items. Among students who did, many threw fruit and vegetable items away without eating a single bite.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest that fruit and vegetable waste was substantial and that additional work may be needed to increase student selection and consumption of fruit and vegetable offerings. Complementary interventions to increase the appeal of fruit and vegetable options may be needed to encourage student receptivity to these healthier items in the school meal program.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Fruit; Nutrition; Obesity; Plate waste; School; Vegetable

PMID:
24747044
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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