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CHOICES Study Finds That School Lunch Policies Benefit Low-Income Populations

A new study from CHOICES, “Impact Of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act On Obesity Trends,” was published today in Health Affairs.

Children eating lunch in a classroom.

This study, led by Erica Kenney, examined the impact of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on child obesity risk, and found that the legislation strengthened nutritional standards for meals and beverages provided through the National School Lunch, Breakfast, and Smart Snacks programs. The researchers reviewed data for 173,013 youths taken from the National Survey of Children’s Health from 2003–2018, prior to when rollbacks went into effect. While the researchers found no significant association between the legislation and childhood obesity trends overall, they did find significant reductions in obesity risk among children living in poverty — thus concluding that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s science-based nutritional standards should be maintained to support healthy growth, especially among children living in poverty.

To learn more, read a summary and the full text of this paper.

Impact Of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act On Obesity Trends.
Kenney EL, Barrett JL, Bleich SN, Ward ZJ, Cradock AL, Gortmaker SL. Health Aff. 2020;39(7). doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00133