Student Receptivity to New School Meal Offerings: Assessing Fruit and Vegetable Waste among Middle School Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District
Published Date:Apr 16 2014
Source:Prev Med. 2014; 67(0 1):S28-S33.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4199919
Funding:1P50HL105188/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
1U58DP002485-01/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
P50 HL105188/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
Intramural NIH HHS/United States
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.
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).
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 2,228 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.
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.
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