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Salad Bar Characteristics in Relation to Diet Quality of Schoolchildren

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Objectives: We studied the association between the number of fruits and vegetables (F/V) offered and appearance of salad bars with student F/V consumption at lunch and overall diet quality using the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010). Methods: This was a cross-sectional study assessing student-level dietary intake (N = 2048) and school salad bar characteristics at 39 elementary schools in California during 2011 and 2012. Results: Students who were in schools with visually appealing salad bars (ie, extremely inviting) had the highest mean (M) HEI-2010 greens and beans score (M=0.52, SD=1.32) compared to students in schools with plain-looking salad bars (M=0.35, SD =1.11, p = .009). Conclusions: This result suggests that school salad bar appearance may play a positive role in students' vegetable diet quality. Intervention strategies that improve the attractiveness of salad bar offerings should be considered to promote vegetable consumption in schoolchildren.
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Keywords: CHILDREN'S DIET; ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HEALTH; FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION; HEALTHY EATING INDEX-2010; SALAD BAR; SCHOOL LUNCH

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nutrition Policy Institute, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Berkeley, CA, USA

Publication date: 01 January 2017

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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