Smarter Lunchrooms Improve Nutrition

submitted by: admin on 10/14/2013


The USDA in January of 2013 passed regulations designed to make school lunches more nutritious by requiring they increase whole grains and make students select either a fruit or vegetable with their purchased lunch.

A study published in the February 2013 Journal of Pediatrics reported that this could be done within 3 hours and for a cost of $50 by using behavioral cues while still preserving choices. They made fruits and veggies more attractive and placed them near the cash register where kids were waiting to pay for lunch. They also received verbal cues from the staff suggesting something like, "would you like an apple?"

Results of this study showed that students were 13% more likely to take fruit and18% more likely to take vegetables and that actual fruit consumption increased by 18% and vegetables by 25%.

We also know from previous research that it is easy to increase vegetable intake by being sneaky by, for example, including pureed vegetables in sauces and meat loaf.

Smarter Lunchrooms Improve Nutrition (Video)

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