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Children’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables: Do School Environment and Policies Affect Choice in School Meals?

  • Ishdorj, Ariun
  • Crepinsek, Mary Kay
  • Jensen, Helen H.

Considering most children spend a majority of their weekdays at school and, on average, obtain more than one-third of their daily caloric intake from meals consumed at school during the school year, school is a natural place to implement nutrition policies that would help develop healthy eating habits and improve health and well-being of children. At the same time, local school meal policies may influence what foods are offered and how the foods are prepared. In this regard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) two school meal programs can play an important role in children’s diets and food habit formation and thus positively influence children’s health. The focus of our research is children’s intakes of fruits and vegetables by location of consumption. We include intake of the fruits and vegetables at school and at home and evaluate whether the school meal intake substitutes or supplements intake at home. We use data from the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-III), and estimate jointly the student’s latent consumption of target foods (fruits and vegetables) by location of consumption and the student’s endogenous decision to participate in the school meal program. We find demographic effects influence consumption, and although school food policies examined had little effect on participation in the school meal program, some school policies do affect fruits and vegetables consumption. There is evidence that increased exposure to fruits and vegetables in school will positively affect home consumption.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/123534
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA with number 123534.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaeafe:123534
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  1. Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Husain, 2008. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 14297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Koop, Gary & Poirier, Dale J., 1997. "Learning about the across-regime correlation in switching regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 217-227, June.
  3. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2011. "The Impact of the National School Lunch Program on Child Health: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," Staff General Research Papers 32719, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Chib, Siddhartha, 2007. "Analysis of treatment response data without the joint distribution of potential outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 401-412, October.
  5. Chib, Siddhartha & Hamilton, Barton H., 2000. "Bayesian analysis of cross-section and clustered data treatment models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 25-50, July.
  6. Ishdorj, Ariun & Jensen, Helen H. & Tobias, Justin, 2007. "Intra-Household Allocation and Consumption of WIC-Approved Foods: A Bayesian Approach," Staff General Research Papers 12833, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Poirier, Dale J & Tobias, Justin L, 2003. "On the Predictive Distributions of Outcome Gains in the Presence of an Unidentified Parameter," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(2), pages 258-68, April.
  8. Jayanta Bhattacharya & Janet Currie & Steven J. Haider, 2006. "Breakfast of Champions?: The School Breakfast Program and the Nutrition of Children and Families," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  9. Chib, Siddhartha & Hamilton, Barton H., 2002. "Semiparametric Bayes analysis of longitudinal data treatment models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 67-89, September.
  10. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009. "Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  11. 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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