Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Removing competitive foods v. nudging and marketing school meals: a pilot study in high-school cafeterias

  • Rebecca Boehm (a1), Margaret Read (a2), Kathryn E Henderson (a3) and Marlene B Schwartz (a2)

Abstract

Objective:

To compare federally reimbursable school meals served when competitive foods are removed and when marketing and nudging strategies are used in school cafeterias operating the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The second objective was to determine how marketing and nudging strategies influence competitive food sales.

Design:

In the Healthy Choices School, all competitive foods were removed; the Healthy Nudging School retained competitive foods and promoted the school meal programme using marketing and nudging strategies; a third school made no changes. Cafeteria register data were collected from the beginning of the 2013–2014 school year through the four-week intervention. Outcome measures included daily entrées served; share of entrées served with vegetables, fruit and milk; and total competitive food sales. Difference-in-difference models were used to examine outcome measure changes.

Setting:

Three high schools in a diverse, Northeast US urban district with universally free meals.

Participants:

High-school students participating in the NSLP.

Results:

During the intervention weeks, the average number of entrées served daily was significantly higher in the Healthy Choices School (82·1 (se 33·9)) and the Healthy Nudging School (107·4 (se 28·2)) compared with the control school. The only significant change in meal component selection was a 6 % (se 0·02) higher rate of vegetable servings in the Healthy Choices School compared with the control school. Healthy Nudging School competitive food sales did not change.

Conclusions:

Both strategies – removing competitive foods and marketing and nudging – may increase school meal participation. There was no evidence that promoting school meals decreased competitive food sales.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email marlene.schwartz@uconn.edu

Footnotes

Hide All

These authors were affiliated with Yale University when the intervention for the study was carried out.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
1. Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture (2013) National School Lunch Program Fact Sheet. Alexandria, VA: USDA.
2. Johnson, DB, Podrabsky, M, Rocha, A et al. (2016) Effect of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act on the nutritional quality of meals selected by students and school lunch participation rates. JAMA Pediatr 170, e153918.
3. Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture (2013) Final Rule: National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/07/29/2016-17227/national-school-lunch-program-and-school-breakfast-program-nutrition-standards-for-all-foods-sold-in (accessed November 2019).
4. Hennessy, E, Oh, A, Agurs-Collins, T et al. (2014) State-level school competitive food and beverage laws are associated with children’s weight status. J Sch Health 84, 609616.
5. Thorndike, AN, Sonnenberg, LM, Riis, J et al. (2012) A 2-phase labeling and choice architecture intervention to improve healthy food and beverage choices. Am J Public Health 102, 572–533.
6. Hanks, AS, Just, DR & Wansink, B (2013) Smarter lunchrooms can address new school lunchroom guidelines and childhood obesity. J Pediatr 162, 867869.
7. Schwartz, MB, Just, DR, Chriqui, JF et al. (2017) Appetite self-regulation: environmental and policy influences on eating behaviors. Obesity (Silver Spring) 25, Suppl. 1, S26S38.
8. Gosliner, W, Madsen, KA, Woodward-Lopez, G et al. (2011) Would students prefer to eat healthier foods at school? J Sch Health 81, 146151.
9. Hanks, AS, Just, DR, Smith, LE et al. (2012) Healthy convenience: nudging students toward healthier choices in the lunchroom. J Public Health 34, 370376.
10. Johnson, EJ, Shu, SB, Dellaert, BGC et al. (2012) Beyond nudges: tools of a choice architecture. Mark Lett 23, 487504.
11. Just, DR, Wansink, B, Gabrielyan, G et al. (2017) How to make kids eat healthier in school cafeterias: an evidence from smarter lunchrooms program in North East US. FASEB J 31, 787.6.
12. Springer, AE, Kelder, SH, Byrd-Williams, CE et al. (2013) Promoting energy-balance behaviors among ethnically diverse adolescents: overview and baseline findings of the central Texas CATCH Middle School Project. Health Educ Behav 40, 559570.
13. Greene, K, Gabrielyan, G, Brumberg, A et al. (2016) Smarter lunchrooms randomized control trial: results from year 3. J Nutr Educ Behav 48, issue 7, S119S120.
14. Greene, KN, Gabrielyan, G, Just, DR et al. (2017) Fruit-promoting smarter lunchrooms interventions: results from a cluster RCT. Am J Prev Med 52, 451458.
15. Wharton, CM, Long, M & Schwartz, MB (2008) Changing nutrition standards in schools: the emerging impact on school revenue. J Sch Health 78, 245251.
16. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health (2011) Implementing Strong Nutrition Standards for Schools: Financial Implications. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
17. Peart, T, Kao, J, Crawford, PB et al. (2012) Does competitive food and beverage legislation hurt meal participation or revenues in high schools? Child Obes 8, 339346.
18. Long, MW, Henderson, KE & Schwartz, MB (2010) Evaluating the impact of a Connecticut program to reduce availability of unhealthy competitive food in schools. J Sch Health 80, 478486.
19. Bhatia, R, Jones, P & Reicker, Z (2011) Competitive foods, discrimination, and participation in the National School Lunch Program. Am J Public Health 101, 13801386.
20. Gordon, A, Crepinsek, MK, Nogales, R et al. (2007) School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study-III. Volume I: School Foodservice, School Food Environment, and Meals Offered and Served. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
21. Hanks, AS, Just, DR & Wansink, B (2012) Smarter Lunchrooms: Libertarian Paternalism Can Address New School Lunchroom Guidelines and Childhood Obesity. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network.
22. Lytle, LA, Seifert, S, Greenstein, J et al. (2000) How do children’s eating patterns and food choices change over time? Results from a cohort study. Am J Health Promot 14, 222228.
23. Morton, JF & Guthrie, JF (1998) Changes in children’s total fat intakes and their food group sources of fat, 1989–91 versus 1994–95: implications for diet quality. Fam Econ Nutr Rev 11, 4457.
24. Bureau of Health and Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education (2011) Complying with Healthy Food Certification Under Section 10-215f of the Connecticut General Statutes. Middletown, CT: Connecticut State Department of Education.
25. Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture (2019) National School Lunch Program | Community Eligibility Provision. https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/community-eligibility-provision (accessed November 2019).
26. Smarter Lunchrooms Movement: Nudging Kids to Eat Healthier (2017) The Smarter Lunchrooms Strategies. https://www.smarterlunchrooms.org/scorecard-tools/smarter-lunchrooms-strategies (accessed November 2019).
27. Dimick, JB & Ryan, AM (2014) Methods for evaluating changes in health care policy: the difference-in-differences approach. JAMA 312, 24012402.
28. Angrist, JD & Pischke, J-S (2008) Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion. Princeton, NJ: University Press.
29. Connecticut State Department of Education (n.d.) School District and School Data for Connecticut Schools. http://edsight.ct.gov/SASPortal/main.do (accessed October 2018).
30. Chriqui, JF, Pickel, M & Story, M (2014) Influence of school competitive food and beverage policies on obesity, consumption, and availability: a systematic review. JAMA Pediatr 168, 279286.
31. Borradaile, KE, Sherman, S, Veur, SSV et al. (2009) Snacking in children: the role of urban corner stores. Pediatrics 124, 12931298.
32. Cohen, JFW, Richardson, SA, Cluggish, SA et al. (2015) Effects of choice architecture and chef-enhanced meals on the selection and consumption of healthier school foods: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatr 169, 431437.

Keywords

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Boehm et al. supplementary material
Tables S1 and S2

 Unknown (175 KB)
175 KB

Removing competitive foods v. nudging and marketing school meals: a pilot study in high-school cafeterias

  • Rebecca Boehm (a1), Margaret Read (a2), Kathryn E Henderson (a3) and Marlene B Schwartz (a2)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed