Stricter lunch standards are showing benefits, study says

April 11, 2013
JAMA Pediatrics publishes findings that standards appear to be making a difference in student obesity.

A study suggests that states with stricter school meal nutrition standards were associated with better weight status among students who received free or reduced-price lunches compared with students who did not eat school lunches, according to a JAMA Pediatrics report. Daniel R. Taber of the University of Illinois at Chicago and colleagues conducted a study using a sample of 4,870 students in 40 states. The study found that in states that exceeded U.S. Department of Agriculture school meal standards, the difference in obesity prevalence between students who received free or reduced-price lunches and students who did not get lunches was 12.3 percentage points smaller compared with states that did not exceed USDA standards.

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