Promotions to increase lower-fat food choices among students in secondary schools: description and outcomes of TACOS (Trying Alternative Cafeteria Options in Schools).
OBJECTIVES: (1) To describe promotional activities, particularly student-led, targeting lower-fat à la carte foods that were conducted in secondary schools; and (2) to describe the relationships between the number and duration of total promotional activities for lower-fat à la carte foods and cafeteria sales of such foods over two years. DESIGN: Promotional activities were implemented in schools that were randomised to the intervention condition of a larger, two-year, school-based, randomised, controlled nutrition intervention trial. SETTING: Ten Minnesota secondary schools. SUBJECTS: Students and school faculty, school food-service and research staff (measured at the school level). RESULTS: Over two years, 181 promotions were implemented (n=49 in Year 1 and n=132 in Year 2). In Year 1, the number of promotions conducted in schools was significantly associated with percentage lower-fat food sales. In Year 2, the duration of promotions was significantly associated with percentage lower-fat food sales. CONCLUSIONS: Collaborative efforts among students, school food-service staff and research staff can be successful in implementing a large number of nutrition-related, school-wide promotional activities. These efforts can increase the sales of lower-fat foods in à la carte areas of school cafeterias.
Fulkerson, JA; French, SA; Story, M; Nelson, H; Hannan, PJ
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