Changes in the nutrient content of school lunches: results from the Pathways study.
(Clinical Trial;Journal Article)
BACKGROUND: Pathways, a randomized trial, evaluated the effectiveness of a school-based multicomponent intervention to reduce fatness in American-Indian schoolchildren. The goal of the Pathways food service intervention component was to reduce the fat in school lunches to no more than 30% of energy from fat while maintaining recommended levels of calories and key nutrients. METHODS: The intervention was implemented by school food service staff in intervention schools over a 3-year period. Five consecutive days of school lunch menu items were collected from 20 control and 21 intervention schools at four time periods, and nutrient content was analyzed. RESULTS: There was a significantly greater mean reduction in percent energy from fat and saturated fat in the intervention schools compared to the control schools. Mean percentages of energy from fat decreased from 33.1% at baseline to 28.3% at the end of the study in intervention schools compared to 33.2% at baseline and 32.2% at follow-up in the control schools (P<0.003). There were no statistically significant differences for calories or nutrients between intervention and control schools. CONCLUSIONS: The Pathways school food lunch intervention documented the feasibility of successfully lowering the percent of energy from fat, as part of a coordinated obesity prevention program for American-Indian children.
Story, M; Snyder, MP; Anliker, J; Weber, JL; Cunningham-Sabo, L; Stone, EJ; Chamberlain, A; Ethelbah, B; Suchindran, C; Ring, K
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