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The Food Costs of Healthier School Lunches

  • Newman, Constance
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    The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed and adopted a new set of meal pattern requirements for the National School Lunch Program that will allow schools to claim 6 cents more in lunch reimbursement rates. This study analyzes the food costs of school menus in 2005 that met many of the proposed requirements. Overall, schools that served more, and more diverse, non-starchy vegetables had higher average food costs, and schools that served menus with lower calories had lower food costs. The food costs of school lunch menus that met the combined standards for dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, other vegetables, lowfat/fat-free milk, and fruit averaged 9 cents more per meal in 2005 dollars when other major factors that could affect food choices are taken into account. The main sources of higher costs appear to be related to the provisions for more vegetables.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/123310
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    Article provided by Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association in its journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:123310
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.narea.org/

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    1. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009. "Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    2. Millimet, Daniel L. & Tchernis, Rusty & Husain, Muna, 2008. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," IZA Discussion Papers 3664, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Todd, Jessica E. & Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Penberthy, Corttney, 2011. "Geographic Differences in the Relative Price of Healthy Foods," Economic Information Bulletin 117976, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. repec:mpr:mprres:6165 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Benjamin L. Campbell & Rodolfo M. Nayga & John L. Park & Andres Silva, 2011. "Does the National School Lunch Program Improve Children's Dietary Outcomes?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1099-1130.
    6. Ollinger, Michael & Ralston, Katherine L. & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2010. "School Food Service Costs: Does Location Matter?," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 60690, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Philip M. Gleason & Carol W. Suitor, 2003. "Eating at School: How the National School Lunch Program Affects Children's Diets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 1047-1061.
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