Lunch, Recess and Nutrition: Responding to Time Incentives in the Cafeteria.
Sommaire de l'article
In this study, we evaluate if moving recess before lunch has an effect on the amount of fruits and vegetables elementary school students eat as part of their school-provided lunch.
Participants were 1st-6th grade students from three schools that switched recess from after to before lunch and four similar schools that continued to hold recess after lunch. We collected data for an average of 14days at each school (4days during spring 2011, May 3 through June 1, 2011 and 9days during fall 2011, September 19 through November 11, 2011). All of the schools were in Orem, UT. Data was collected for all students receiving a school lunch and was based on observational plate waste data.
We find that moving recess before lunch increased consumption of fruits and vegetables by 0.16 servings per child (a 54% increase) and increased the fraction of children eating at least one serving of fruits or vegetables by 10 percentage points (a 45% increase). In contrast, the schools in our control group actually experienced a small reduction in fruit and vegetable consumption during the same time period.
Our results show the benefits of holding recess before lunch and suggest that if more schools implement this policy, there would be significant increases in fruit and vegetable consumption among students who eat school lunch as part of the National School Lunch Program.