Nutrition Report Cards: An Opportunity to Improve School Lunch Selection

PLoS ONE 8(10): e72008 (2013)

4 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2014

See all articles by Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink

Retired

David Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Richard Patterson

United States Military Academy; Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Laura Smith

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University

Date Written: October 2, 2013

Abstract

Objective: To explore the feasibility and implementation efficiency of Nutritional Report Cards (NRCs) in helping children make healthier food choices at school. Methods: Pilot testing was conducted in a rural New York school district (K-12). Over a five-week period, 27 parents received a weekly e-mail containing a NRC listing how many meal components (fruits, vegetables, starches, milk), snacks, and a-la-carte foods their child selected. We analyzed choices of students in the NRC group vs. the control group, both prior to and during the intervention period. Point-of-sale system data for a-la-carte items was analyzed using Generalized Least Squares regressions with clustered standard errors.

Results: NRCs encouraged more home conversations about nutrition and more awareness of food selections. Despite the small sample, the NRC was associated with reduced selection of some items, such as the percentage of those selecting cookies which decreased from 14.3 to 6.5 percent. Additionally, despite requiring new keys on the check-out registers to generate the NRC, checkout times increased by only 0.16 seconds per transaction, and compiling and sending the NRCs required a total weekly investment of 30 minutes of staff time.

Conclusions: This test of concept suggests that NRCs are a feasible and inexpensive tool to guide children towards healthier choices.

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and Just, David and Patterson, Richard and Patterson, Richard and Smith, Laura, Nutrition Report Cards: An Opportunity to Improve School Lunch Selection (October 2, 2013). PLoS ONE 8(10): e72008 (2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2474240

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

David Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States
6072552086 (Phone)

Richard Patterson

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States
(435) 640-9054 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/richpattersoncornell/

United States Military Academy ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States
(435) 640-9054 (Phone)

Laura Smith

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University ( email )

Savage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
382
PlumX Metrics