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Improvements in School Lunches Results in Healthier Options

This study conducted by Bridging the Gap, a program of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, uses data from surveys of elementary schools to examine: a) how the types of items offered in school lunches have changed over time; and b) whether the variety of healthy options changed from the first to the second year of updated nutrition standards.

Improvements in School Lunches Results in Healthier Options

This study conducted by Bridging the Gap, a program of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, uses data from surveys of elementary schools to examine: a) how the types of items offered in school lunches have changed over time; and b) whether the variety of healthy options changed from the first to the second year of updated nutrition standards.

The results show that elementary school lunches have been improving consistently since the 2006–07 school year, with more schools offering healthier items and fewer schools offering unhealthier items. This trend has continued through the implementation of national standards in 2012–13, as the overwhelming majority of schools maintained or improved their offerings in the second year of implementation as compared with the first. Together, these findings suggest that elementary schools are able to successfully offer healthier lunches to students and that the national standards are consistent with those efforts.

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