Nov. 27, 2014,
The Washington Post
It’s hard to get kids to eat healthful foods, especially at school. But a new study suggests that, by changing the lunch environment, schools can encourage kids to make better choices without even changing their menus.
This study, conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, found that students buying school lunches select a fruit or vegetable only about half the time, and even then most don’t eat even a single bite. Continue reading
Oct. 11, 2013,
By Chris Weller
Dropping a handful of quarters into the waiting palm of a lunch lady is quickly getting replaced by rapid, blurry swipes of a debit card, and the proliferation in cafeterias around the country has two researchers pushing for greater monitoring of children’s unhealthy spending habits.
Cornell University behavioral economists David Just and Brian Wansink recently investigated the school lunch choices of 2,314 children around the United States. The team compared calorie counts in meals purchased in schools that were debit-only to those that accepted both cash and debit cards. Meals purchased in debit-only schools not only had more calories than in other schools, but also contained a greater number of calories from high-fat, high-sugar foods.
“There may be a reason for concern about the popularity of cashless systems,” the researchers said in a university press release. “Debit cards have been shown to induce more frivolous purchases or greater overall spending by adults and college students.” Continue reading
Aug. 28, 2013,
NBC Bay Area
By Joanna Lin
The green beans are portioned and displayed in orderly rows. The lasagnas are steaming up their plastic covers. The workers stand ready, their hair netted and aprons tied. The bell rings, and a stream of nearly 1,000 students flood in to Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School’s cafeteria, barely slowing as they load cardboard trays with apple juice, chicken wings, and sliced cucumbers.
Because lunch is free for all students at Bravo, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, no one pauses to pay. Still, during the lunch rush this day in May, food service worker Rodelinda Gomez stops a few.
“Hey! Hey!” Gomez hollers to students with no greens on their trays. “Come on and get your vegetables. You have to get them!” Continue reading