Pricing and promotion effects on low-fat vending snack purchases: the CHIPS Study.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effects of pricing and promotion strategies on purchases of low-fat snacks from vending machines. METHODS: Low-fat snacks were added to 55 vending machines in a convenience sample of 12 secondary schools and 12 worksites. Four pricing levels (equal price, 10% reduction, 25% reduction, 50% reduction) and 3 promotional conditions (none, low-fat label, low-fat label plus promotional sign) were crossed in a Latin square design. Sales of low-fat vending snacks were measured continuously for the 12-month intervention. RESULTS: Price reductions of 10%, 25%, and 50% on low-fat snacks were associated with significant increases in low-fat snack sales; percentages of low-fat snack sales increased by 9%, 39%, and 93%, respectively. Promotional signage was independently but weakly associated with increases in low-fat snack sales. Average profits per machine were not affected by the vending interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Reducing relative prices on low-fat snacks was effective in promoting lower-fat snack purchases from vending machines in both adult and adolescent populations. (+info)
Food environment in secondary schools: a la carte, vending machines, and food policies and practices.
OBJECTIVES: This study described the food environment in 20 Minnesota secondary schools. METHODS: Data were collected on school food policies and the availability and nutritional content of foods in school a la carte (ALC) areas and vending machines (VMs). RESULTS: Approximately 36% and 35% of foods in ALC areas and in VMs, respectively, met the lower-fat criterion (< or = 5.5 fat grams/serving). The chips/crackers category constituted the largest share of ALC foods (11.5%). The median number of VMs per school was 12 (4 soft drink, 2 snack, 5 other). Few school food policies were reported. CONCLUSIONS: The availability of healthful foods and beverages in schools as well as school food policies that foster healthful food choices among students needs greater attention. (+info)
The association of the school food environment with dietary behaviors of young adolescents.
OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between young adolescents' dietary behaviors and school vending machines, a la carte programs, and fried potatoes' being served at school lunch. METHODS: Using a cross-sectional study design, we measured a la carte availability and the number of school stores, vending machines, and amounts of fried potatoes served to students at school lunch in 16 schools. Grade 7 students (n = 598) completed 24-hour dietary recall interviews. RESULTS: A la carte availability was inversely associated with fruit and fruit/vegetable consumption and positively associated with total and saturated fat intake. Snack vending machines were negatively correlated with fruit consumption. Fried potatoes' being served at school lunch was positively associated with vegetable and fruit/vegetable intake. CONCLUSIONS: School-based programs that aim to promote healthy eating among youths should target school-level environmental factors. (+info)
Competitive foods and beverages available for purchase in secondary schools--selected sites, United States, 2004.
The percentage of overweight youths aged 12-19 years in the United States more than tripled from 5% during 1976-1980 to 16% during 1999-2002. Overweight youths are at increased risk for cardiovascular consequences and other serious physical and psychosocial health problems. Because most youths are enrolled in school, the school nutrition environment is integral to any strategy to improve dietary behavior and reduce overweight among youths. In most schools, the nutrition environment has two components: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) school meals program and the sale of competitive foods. USDA defines competitive foods as those foods and beverages, regardless of nutritional value, sold at a school separate from the USDA school meals program. To identify the types of competitive foods and beverages available for purchase from school vending machines or at school stores, canteens, or snack bars, CDC analyzed data from the 2004 School Health Profiles for public secondary schools in 27 states and 11 large urban school districts. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, in 2004, the majority of secondary schools (median across states: 89.5%; median across large urban school districts: 81.5%) allowed students to purchase snack foods or beverages from vending machines or at the school store, canteen, or snack bar. In addition, the percentage of schools offering certain types of snack foods and beverages varied across states and large urban school districts. Although the majority of schools offered some nutritious foods and beverages in these settings, the majority of schools also offered less nutritious choices. Educators, families, and school and public health officials should work together to provide school nutrition environments that will help improve dietary behavior and reduce overweight among youths. (+info)
The vending and a la carte policy intervention in Maine public high schools.
BACKGROUND: A healthy school nutrition environment may be important for decreasing childhood overweight. This article describes a project to make healthier snacks and beverages available in vending machines and a la carte programs in Maine public high schools. CONTEXT: Seven public high schools in Maine volunteered to participate in this project. Four schools made changes to the nutrition environment, and three schools that served as controls did not. The nutrition guidelines were to offer only low-fat (not more than 30% of total calories from fat) and low-sugar (not more than 35% by weight of sugar) items in vending machines and a la carte programs. METHODS: Strategies to implement the project included early communications with school officials, monetary stipends for participation, identification of a school liaison, and a committee at each school to promote the healthy changes. Baseline nutrient content and sales of all competitive foods and beverages were assessed to develop the guidelines for changes in the four schools. Student volunteers at all seven schools were measured for height, weight, diet quality, and physical activity level to assess the impact of the change to the nutrition environment. Baseline measures were taken in the spring semester of 2004. Nutrition changes were made to the a la carte programs and vending machines in the four intervention schools at the start of the fall semester of 2004. Follow-up nutrition assessment and student data collection occurred in the spring semester of 2005. CONSEQUENCES: Healthy changes in vending machines were more easily achieved than those made in the a la carte programs. Technical assistance and ongoing support were essential for successful implementation of this intervention. INTERPRETATION: It is possible to improve the nutrition environment of Maine public high schools. Stakeholder support is essential to sustain healthy changes. (+info)
Improving the school food environment: results from a pilot study in middle schools.
Our objective for this study was to examine the feasibility of instituting environmental changes during a 6-week pilot in school foodservice programs, with long-term goals of improving dietary quality and preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes in youth. Participants included students and staff from six middle schools in three states. Formative assessment with students and school staff was conducted in the spring of 2003 to inform the development of school foodservice policy changes. Thirteen potential policy goals were delineated. These formed the basis for the environmental change pilot intervention implemented during the winter/spring of 2004. Questionnaires were used to assess the extent to which the 13 foodservice goals were achieved. Success was defined as achieving 75% of goals not met at baseline. Daily data were collected on goal achievement using the schools' daily food production and sales records. Qualitative data were also collected after the pilot study to obtain feedback from students and staff. Formative research with staff and students identified potential environmental changes. Most schools made substantial changes in the National School Lunch Program meal and snack bar/a la carte offerings. Vending goals were least likely to be achieved. Only one school did not meet the 75% goal achievement objective. Based on the objective data as well as qualitative feedback from student focus groups and interviews with students and school staff, healthful school foodservice changes in the cafeteria and snack bar can be implemented and were acceptable to the staff and students. Implementing longer-term and more ambitious changes and assessing cost issues and the potential enduring impact of these changes on student dietary change and disease risk reduction merits investigation. (+info)
Food intake measured by an automated food-selection system: relationship to energy expenditure.
Measuring food intake in a laboratory usually involves limited food choices. An automated food-selection system with two vending machines containing a large variety of foods was used to measure food intake in 10 male volunteers (31 +/- 6 y, 69.2 +/- 7.1 kg, 18 +/- 7% fat, mean +/- SD) on a metabolic ward. The effect of carbohydrate, fat, and protein intakes on 24-h energy expenditure (24EE) and substrate oxidations was measured in a respiratory chamber during day 4 of weight maintenance and day 7 of ad libitum intake. Ad libitum intake resulted in a 7-d overfeeding of 6468 +/- 3824 kJ/d above weight-maintenance requirements, leading to a 2.3 +/- 1.2-kg gain. The 10,975 +/- 3774 kJ excess energy intake on day 7 of ad libitum intake caused a 1205 +/- 920 kJ/d increase in 24EE (delta 24EE = 0.17 x delta intake - 695; r = 0.71, P less than 0.02). Of the excess carbohydrate intake, 74% was oxidized (r = 0.86, P less than 0.001), whereas excess fat intake was not. Carbohydrate and protein stores are regulated whereas excess fat intake is channeled to fat stores. (+info)
School food environments and policies in US public schools.