School cafeterias are the centerpiece of the school nutrition environment. Rudd research supports efforts to remove unhealthy snacks from schools in terms of nutrition and finances; prompt students to take a piece of fruit with the reimbursable school meal; and remove flavored milk.
Our research on the National School Lunch Program has documented that the changes associated with the implementation of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act have made significant improvements in the school nutrition environment and rolling back the regulations is unwarranted.
Key studies have found:
- Plate waste did not increase as a consequence of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act
- Students support efforts to improve the food in schools
- Students who eat two breakfasts have a healthier body weight than students who skip breakfast
- Students increase consumption of plain milk two years after flavored milk is removed
- Students consume more fruit and milk when 100% juice is not offered
- Removing competitive foods is associated with increased meal participation.
- Connolly K, Babbin M, Schwartz M. Feeding Connecticut Children During COVID-19: Stories of Dedication, Innovation, and Collaboration From the Field. Rudd Report for State Department of Education. 2020 October 1-37
- Schwartz M, Henderson K, Read M, Danna N, Ickovics J. New School Meal Regulations Increase Fruit Consumption and Do Not Increase Total Plate Waste. Childhood Obesity. 2015 March 1-6
- Asada Y, Hughes A, Read M, Schwartz M, Chriqui J. High School Students' Recommendations to Improve School Food Environments: Insights From a Critical Stakeholder Group. Journal of School Health. 2017 November Vol. 87, No. 11:842-849
- Wang S, Schwartz M, Read M, Henderson K. School Breakfast and Body Mass Index: A Longitudinal Observational Study of Middle School Students. Pediatric Obesity. 2016 March 1-8
- Schwartz M, Henderson K, Read M, Cornelius T. Student Acceptance of Plain Milk Increases Significantly 2 Years after Flavored Milk Is Removed from School Cafeterias: An Observational Study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017 July 1-8
- Boehm R, Read M, Schwartz M. Juice Displaces Milk and Fruit in High School Lunches. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2018 September 1-6
- Boehm R, Read M, Henderson K, Schwartz M. Removing Competitive Foods v. Nudging and Marketing School Meals: a Pilot Study in High School Cafeterias. Public Health Nutrition. 2020 February 23:2:1-8