When a State Changes Nutrition Policy, What's the Effect on Student Food Choices and Sales?

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine analyzed the impact of changes in state nutrition policy that were designed to restrict high fat/sugar foods, reduce portion sizes and eliminate candy and fried foods in Texas public schools.

Researchers collected data on food sold or served from 49 schools in 11 Texas school districts for 2003–2004, the school year immediately prior to implementation of the new school nutrition policy, and the first year of implementation of the new policy—2004–2005.

Key Findings

  • One year after the nutrition policy went into effect:

    • Schools served significantly fewer servings of high-fat vegetables (French fries, which were baked, not fried).
    • There was no significant increase in the number of other fruits and vegetables served to students.
    • Snack-bar sales of large-size servings of potato chips decreased significantly (almost to zero), while sales of baked chips increased significantly.