Healthy Eating Strategy #5: Increase and Promote Healthy Food and Beverage Options in Cafeterias in Schools and Worksites

Our Healthier Communities Initiatives are built on the concept that local communities can work together to give all community members healthy choices and support the pursuit of healthy lifestyles.  More than 160 Ys are working in collaboration with community leaders to make changes in policies and the physical surroundings in those communities so that healthy living is within reach for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.




Healthy Eating Strategy #5: Increase and Promote Healthy Food and Beverage Options in Cafeterias in Schools and Worksites

Increasing healthy choices in a cafeteria increases the sale of healthy food. Studies show that students choose three times as many vegetables at cafeteria salad bars compared to other meal options.

 

Studies have shown that increasing healthy choices in a cafeteria increases the sale of healthy food in general. Studies in school settings have found that students chose three times as many servings of vegetables at the salad bar in comparison to the other meal choices. Further research has found that students with more healthy food options in the cafeteria perceived greater support for choosing healthy foods as compared to students with less healthy options. Furthermore, nutrition campaigns that reinforced nutrition education with increased availability of healthy foods in cafeterias saw a reduction in the incidence of overweight. Strategies that increase availability of healthy choices and prohibit the sale of sugary beverages and foods with minimal nutritional value have the potential to reduce the incidence of overweight.




References

  1. Brillinger, R., Ohmart, J., & Feenstra, G. (2003). The Crunch Lunch Manual: A case study of the Davis Joint Unified School District Farmers Market Pilot Salad Bar Program and a fiscal analysis model. University of California, Davis, Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program. http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/cdpp/farmtoschool/crunchlunch32003.pdf.
  2. French, S., Story, M., Fulkerson, J., & Hannan, P. (2004). An environmental intervention to promote lower-fat food choices in secondary schools: Outcomes of the TACOS study. American Journal of Public Health, 94 (9), 1507–1512.
  3. Foster, G.D., Sherman, S., Borradaile, K.E., Grundy, K.M., Vander Veur, S.S., Nachmani, J., Karpyn, A., Kumanyika, S., & Shults, J. (2008). A policy-based school intervention to prevent overweight and obesity. Pediatrics, 121(4).
  4. Jeffery, R.W., French, S.A., Raether, C., & Baxter, J.E. (1994). An environmental intervention to increase fruit and salad purchases in a cafeteria. Preventive Medicine, 23(6), 788–792.
  5. Jordan, K., Erickson, E., Cox, R., Carlson, E., Heap, E., Friedrichs, M., Moyer-Mileur, L., Shen, S., & Mihalopoulos, N. (2008). Evaluation of the Gold Medal Schools Program. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108 (11).
  6. Sanchez-Vaznaugh, E., Sanchez, B., Baek, J., & Crawford, P. (2010). Competitive food and beverage policies: Are they influencing childhood overweight trends? Health Affairs, 29(3), 436–446.

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