The Impact of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy on Student Food Selection and Sales in Texas

The statewide impact of the 2004 Texas Public School Nutrition Policy on foods and beverages served or sold in schools was the focus of this study. The authors collected lunch food production records from 47 schools in 11 Texas school districts for the school years before (2003–2004) and after (2004–2005) policy implementation. Cafeteria servings of fruit, vegetables (regular and fried), and milk served each day were calculated. Twenty-three schools from five districts provided records of a la carte sales of candy, chips, desserts, drinks, ice cream and water. The authors examined aggregated school-level differences in total items served or sold per day per student between study years.

The study found that school demographics were similar to state data. Regardless of district and school size, cafeterias served significantly fewer high-fat vegetable items per student post-policy (P<.001). Post-policy snack bar sales of large bags of chips were significantly reduced (P=.006), and baked chips sales significantly increased (P=.048).