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HomeDietetics and Human NutritionResearch2011-2012 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science › Are school lunches the real culprit of obesity in middle school age children- a study conducted in Webster County.

2011-2012 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science

Are school lunches the real culprit of obesity in middle school age children- a study conducted in Webster County.
Michele Studeny
Michelle Studeny
Abstract

Background: Students receive approximately 35% of their daily dietary intake while at school. Due to increasing BMI’s of children, it is hypothesized consumption of school lunches may be the cause.  Other factors that may influence student’s dietary intake are vending machine usage, family, and fast food consumption.

Methods: Data was collected from 82 middle school students (50 females and 32 males) in Webster County of Kentucky. Self-reporting Qualtric cross-sectional surveys were distributed randomly to students. BMI was calculated from self-reported weight and height. The survey recorded the student’s concern level about their weight, as well as dietary intake influences. Statistic analysis was performed in Excel.

Results: The self-reported data concluded that BMI was not significantly correlated with frequency of days that the children ate lunch (r=-.137.) BMI was negatively correlated with the days students brought lunch from home (r=-.233.) The increasing number of days students ate school lunch was negatively correlated with their opinion of liking school lunch and thinking school lunch is healthy (r values were -.307 and -.286, respectively.) Students opinion on “liking” school lunch is correlated with their opinion on thinking school lunch is healthy (r=0.446.) Overall 65% of students did not like eating school lunch and 60% of students did not think school lunch was healthy. There is a positive correlation between students who are concerned about their weight and increasing BMI, increasing days/week eat school lunch, increasing days/week purchase vending, increasing days/week eat fast food (r values are .288, .209 ,.199, .227 respectively.)

Conclusion: The results show that student’s healthy eating habits may not be directly related to school lunch. Student’s dietary intake is related to other factors such as family
 
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