Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs among School-Aged Children Regarding School Food

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Davis, Hayley M.
School Food , Middle-School Aged Students , Students , Children , Nutrition , Knowledge , Attitudes , Beliefs , National School Lunch Program , National School Breakfast Program
Obesity, an epidemic in the United States, affects 17% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years old. In New York State, 17.6% of students in elementary, middle and high school are obese. In St. Lawrence County the rate of children (pre-K through tenth grade) considered overweight or obese is an alarming 42.9%. A major risk factor for obesity is diet. Children receive nearly half of their daily dietary intake at school, thus it is critical to focus on the school environment when assessing children’s consumption patterns. In 2012 the USDA updated the guidelines for food served as school lunch and breakfast, and there appears to be resistance among students who buy school food. The factors that determine what students actually purchase and consume may include knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about school food. Therefore the present study will survey about 200 students in fourth through seventh grade attending six schools within St. Lawrence County. The purpose of the study is to discover what children consume, know about nutrition, and think and feel about school food.