ERIC Number: EJ1082484
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Middle School Student Perceptions of School Lunch Following Revised Federal School Meal Guidelines
Kjosen, Maria M.; Moore, Carolyn E.; Cullen, Karen W.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v39 n2 Fall 2015
Purpose: This study assessed student perceptions of school meals under the new federal meal patterns for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Student feedback is instrumental in developing strategies to increase and maintain NSLP participation, satisfaction, and ultimately provide students with a healthy meal. Methods: Anonymous questionnaires were completed by 1,867 6th to 8th grade students in the Houston, Texas area during Spring 2013. Analysis of variance was used to assess whether student perceptions about school meals, fruit/vegetables/whole grain consumption, and staff attentiveness varied by grade level, gender, school free/reduced price (FRP) meal eligibility, or frequency of eating school lunch. The top five reasons why participants choose to eat school lunch were also assessed. Results: Sixth graders (p < 0.001) reported greater satisfaction with the NSLP meal than other grades, while students from schools with higher FRP eligibility reported less satisfaction (p < 0.001) than other schools. Sixth graders (p < 0.001), as well as boys (p = 0.015), were more likely to report selecting and consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Students from schools with higher FRP eligibility (p < 0.001) and students who reported eating school lunch more frequently (p < 0.001) were more satisfied with staff attentiveness. The most popular reason for eating school lunch was "I am hungry". The least popular reasons for participating in the NSLP were "I get a balanced meal", and "It prepares me for after school activities".
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Student Attitudes, Lunch Programs, Food, Questionnaires, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Eating Habits, Age Differences, Gender Differences, Low Income Groups, Eligibility, Teacher Behavior, Student Satisfaction, Statistical Analysis
School Nutrition Association. 120 Waterfront Street Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. Tel: 301-686-3100; Fax: 301-686-3115; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://schoolnutrition.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Grade 8
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS); Agricultural Research Service (USDA)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01HD068349; 625051000053