Reducing fat and sodium in school lunch programs: the LUNCHPOWER! Intervention Study.
This study developed, implemented, and evaluated a healthful school lunch program that provided tasty food choices that were lower in fat and sodium. The LUNCHPOWER! Intervention Program was implemented in 34 elementary schools in four school districts that represented diverse geographic areas of Minnesota. A team of registered dietitians, foodservice directors, and cook managers reduced the fat and sodium content of school lunches by modifying recipes and food preparation methods and by identifying and selecting vendor products (prepared food products) that were lower in fat and sodium. Nutrition education messages for students and parents were developed for the 5-month intervention. Monthly menus were analyzed for fat, sodium, and energy content before and after the intervention. There was a significant decrease in both total grams of fat and percent of energy from fat between baseline and follow-up. At all 34 schools, mean daily amount of total fat in the lunch menu decreased 39% (from 32 g to 20 g) and percent of energy from fat decreased 29% (from 40% to 28%). We found that schools could serve lower-sodium and lower-fat meals and retain student participation in the school lunch program.
Snyder, MP; Story, M; Trenkner, LL
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