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ERIC Number: ED479405
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 42
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
School Lunch Salad Bars: Nutrition Assistance Program Report Series. Special Nutrition Programs.
Hirschman, Jay; Schmidt, Stefanie; McKinney, Patricia; Frost, Alberta
Noting that children's average daily intake of fruits and vegetables is well below recommended minimums, this report responds to a request from the Appropriations Committee Directives, Fiscal Year 2002 to compare fruits/vegetable availability in schools with and without salad bars. The comparison was made using data from the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study collected during the 1998-99 school year. Information was collected from School Food Authorities by telephone and from cafeteria managers in sample schools using a mail survey. Section 1 of the report describes salad bar availability and analyzes trends during the 1990s. Section 2 describes what fruits/vegetables are contained in salad bars. Section 3 compares the variety of fruits/vegetables in schools with and without salad bars. Section 4 describes characteristics of schools with and without salad bars. Section 5 notes data limitations, and Section 6 presents discussion and conclusions. The key findings are as follows: (1) salad bars are available at least once weekly in 21 percent of public schools, are most common in high schools, least common in elementary schools, and more common in more affluent schools than in less affluent schools; (2) a wide range of vegetables/fruits are available in salad bars; (3) schools with salad bars offer a wider variety of fruits/vegetables than other schools; and (4) salad bars are more common in rural and suburban schools than in urban schools. The report notes that determining the qualities of fruits/vegetables served or consumed would require additional data and cautions that differences associated with salad bars were not necessarily caused by schools adding salad bars. It is further noted that schools do not, on average, meet nutrition standards for fat, saturated fat, and sodium. The report's three appendices provide supplementary data tables, an exploratory comparison of food and nutrient characteristics of meals in schools with and without salad bars, and a discussion of the study's methodology. (KB)
USDA Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 926, Alexandria, VA 22302. E-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Food and Nutrition Service (USDA), Alexandria, VA. Office of Analysis and Evaluation.