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Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar
Date:12/6/2007

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."


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Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles  
Source:Eurekalert

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