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Am J Public Health. 2013 Jul;103(7):e59-66. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301331. Epub 2013 May 16.

Impact of Connecticut legislation incentivizing elimination of unhealthy competitive foods on National School Lunch Program participation.

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  • 1Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA. michael.long@mail.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We analyzed the impact of Connecticut legislation incentivizing voluntary school district-level elimination of unhealthy competitive foods on National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participation.

METHODS:

We analyzed data on free, reduced, and paid participation in the NSLP from 904 schools within 154 Connecticut school districts from the 2004-2005 to the 2009-2010 school year, resulting in 5064 observations of annual school-level meal participation. We used multilevel regression modeling techniques to estimate the impact of the state competitive food legislation on the count of NSLP lunches served per student in each school.

RESULTS:

Overall, the state statute was associated with an increase in school lunch participation. We observed increases between 7% and 23% for middle- and high-school meal programs, and a slight decrease of 2.5% for the elementary school free meal eligibility category, leading to an estimated revenue increase of roughly $30 000 for an average school district per school year.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides support for national implementation of proposed rigorous competitive food standards that can improve the health of students while supporting local school district finances.

PMID:
23678930
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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