Navigation Links
Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar

A new UCLA study has found that elementary schools can significantly increase the frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income students by providing a lunch salad bar.

The findings, published in the December issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Public Health Nutrition, show that the frequency of students' fruit and vegetable consumption increased significantly from 2.97 to 4.09 times daily after a salad bar was introduced. In addition, students' mean daily intake of energy, cholesterol, saturated fat and total fat declined considerably.

"One of the major contributing factors to the high rate of overweight children in the United States is that they do not consume the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables," said lead author Dr. Wendy Slusser, assistant professor of pediatrics at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and the UCLA School of Public Health. "Increasing the availability and accessibility to healthy foods is one way to improve children's diets. In turn, this sets up opportunities for kids to have repeated exposure to healthy food and positively impact their choices."

The UCLA pilot study was conducted at three Los Angeles Unified School District elementary schools participating in the salad bar program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's reimbursable lunch program. Study participants included 337 children in grades 2 through 5. Children were interviewed using a 24-hour food-recall questionnaire, both before and after the salad bar intervention in 1998 and 2000, respectively.

The study was offered in conjunction with a nutritional education component, including a school assembly to teach children about the proper etiquette of serving themselves salad and picking a well-balanced lunch, as well as an artwork project and visits to farmers markets or a farm. The salad bar program was developed together by LAUSD Food Services and Occidental College in Los Angeles.

"The results are clear if we provide fresh fruits and vegetables in kid-friendly ways, we will increase consumption," said school board member Marlene Canter. "I am excited to see that our efforts to find new and creative ways to improve our students' nutrition and help reduce obesity are working."

Since the study, the LAUSD school board voted positively on a 2003 obesity-prevention motion that includes recommending fruit and vegetable bars as a modification of the hot lunch program.

An important source of nutrition, fruits and vegetables help with weight management and can also be beneficial in reducing the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can improve health by increasing amounts of vitamin C, phytonutrients, potassium and fiber in the body and displacing energy-dense fatty foods.

The U.S.D.A. has reported that only 36.4 percent of U.S. children between the ages of 2 and 19 eat the recommended three to five servings of vegetables per day, and only 26 percent eat the two to four recommended daily servings of fruit.

"The salad bar program showed us that children will indeed eat more fruits and vegetables if offered in an appetizing and accessible manner," Slusser said. "Future studies should evaluate parent education with school lunch menu changes, as well as why boys are less likely to eat from the salad bar at lunch than girls."


Contact: Amy Albin
University of California - Los Angeles  

Related biology news :

1. Chemical in red wine, fruits and vegetables stops cancer, heart disease, depending on the dose
2. New partnership offers outsourced R&D in membrane biology
3. Census of protein architectures offers new view of history of life
4. NAS report offers new tools to assess health risks from chemicals
5. New class of drug offers hope to treatment-resistant AIDS patients
6. Darwin Symposium at Field Museum offers broad overview of his science and its impact
7. Green roofs offer energy savings, storm-water control
8. Conference on healthspan offers new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
9. Protein controls blood vessel formation, offers new drug target
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar
(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... interface solutions, today announced expansion of its TDDI ... touch controller and display driver integration (TDDI) ... smartphones. These new TDDI products add to the ... resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it ... Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 ... able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... learn how iMedNet has been able to deliver ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into ... of vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer ... drivers, and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive ... the vehicle. Europe , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share ... "Series B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed ... 23, 2015, which will result in the issuance ... to the issuance of such shares, there will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In harsh industrial processes, the safety of ... can represent a weak spot where leaking process media is a possible hazard. ... , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. They combine rugged design ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc., on being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list ... facility, OrthoAccel manufactures AcceleDent®, a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that speeds up ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today ... Officer, is scheduled to present at the 2015 Piper ... a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York Palace Hotel ... . --> . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: