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Stringent State School Lunch Nutrition Standards Lead To Fewer Obese Students

April 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who studied nearly 5,000 kindergarteners in 40 states found that strict state nutrition standards reduced the incidence of obesity. Kids in states with more lenient nutrition standards tended to be more obese than kids who carried their lunches to school. Kindergarteners in states that exceeded USDA school meal standards were 12.3 percent less likely to be obese than students in states that did not exceed USDA standards. In states that did not exceed USDA standards, students who obtained free or cheap lunches were twice as likely to be obese than students who did not obtain school lunches (26 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively).
Daniel R. Taber et al., "Association Between State Laws Governing School Meal Nutrition Content and Student Weight Status: Implications for New USDA School Meal Standards", JAMA Pediatrics, April 08, 2013, © American Medical Association
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