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Kids Will Eat Healthier Lunches At School If Given More Time

September 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
School kids who have more time to eat lunch tend to eat healthier, a U.S. study finds. Data for the study were collected on six random days during the 2011 to 2012 school year as part a large controlled trial. When kids had less than 20 minutes in the cafeteria to eat lunch, they were much less likely to select a fruit. Peers who had at least 25 minutes were much more likely to eat a fruit (44 percent vs. 57 percent, respectively). Children with less than 20 minutes to eat lunch consumed 13 percent fewer entrees, 10 percent less milk, and 12 percent fewer veggies compared to students who had at least 25 minutes.
Juliana F.W. Cohen et al., "Amount of Time to Eat Lunch Is Associated with Children’s Selection and Consumption of School Meal Entrée, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk. ", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, September 16, 2015, © Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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