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Schools can make a diet difference.

Healthy school nutrition policies can help change the eating habits of today's youth, researchers found in Texas.

A January AJPH study exploring the effects of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy, which was implemented statewide in 2004, found that student consumption of healthier foods increased, while consumption of junk foods decreased. Among other measures, the policy restricts portion sizes for high-fat and sugary snacks, and limits the frequency of serving foods such as french fries.

Researchers studied three years of lunch food records from middle school students in southeast Texas and found that after the nutrition policy was implemented, consumption of vegetables and milk went up, while consumption of candy, chips and sugary drinks went down. Most of the unhealthy foods still consumed after the policy was in effect were brought from students' homes.

The study's authors noted that whether students compensate for restricted foods in school by eating more unhealthy foods outside of school is an area that needs more examination. (Page 111)
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Title Annotation:JOURNAL WATCH: Highlights from the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Words:164
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