Eating School Meals Daily Is Associated with Healthier Dietary Intakes: The Healthy Communities Study.
Sommaire de l'article
Research on the association between school meal consumption and overall dietary intake post-Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act implementation is limited.
This study examines the association between frequency of participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and children's dietary intakes.
The Healthy Communities Study was a cross-sectional observational study conducted between 2013 and 2015.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING
US children aged 4 to 15 years (n=5,106) were included.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Dietary measures were assessed using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Dietary Screener Questionnaire. Dietary intake included fruit and vegetables, fiber, whole grains, dairy, calcium, total added sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages, and energy-dense foods of minimal nutritional value.
Multivariate statistical models assessed associations between frequency of eating school breakfast or lunch (every day vs not every day) and dietary intake, adjusting for child- and community-level covariates.
Children who ate school breakfast every day compared with children who ate 0 to 4 days/wk, reported consuming more fruits and vegetables (0.1 cup/day, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.1), dietary fiber (0.4 g/day, 95% CI: 0.2, 0.7), whole grains (0.1 oz/day, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.1), dairy (0.1 cup/day, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.1), and calcium (34.5 mg/day, 95% CI: 19.1, 49.9). Children who ate school lunch every day, compared with those who ate less frequently, consumed more dairy (0.1 cup/day, 95% CI: 0.1, 0.2) and calcium (32.4 mg/day, 95% CI: 18.1, 46.6). No significant associations were observed between school meal consumption and energy-dense nutrient-poor foods or added sugars.
Eating school breakfast and school lunch every day by US schoolchildren was associated with modestly healthier dietary intakes. These findings suggest potential nutritional benefits of regularly consuming school meals.