Photographs in Lunch Tray Compartments and Vegetable Consumption Among Children in Elementary School Cafeterias | Pediatrics | JAMA | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
February 22/29, 2012

Photographs in Lunch Tray Compartments and Vegetable Consumption Among Children in Elementary School Cafeterias

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Food Science and Nutrition (Drs Reicks and Vickers), Marketing (Dr Redden), Psychology (Dr Mann) (mann@umn.edu), and Applied Economics (Dr Mykerezi), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

JAMA. 2012;307(8):784-785. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.170

To the Editor: To increase healthy eating among children, the US government has recommended providing more vegetables in school lunches,1 and schools are attempting to comply.2 Children, however, still consume insufficient amounts of vegetables.2 We attempted to increase vegetable consumption by placing photographs of vegetables in school lunch tray compartments. We expected these photographs to indicate to the children that others typically select and place vegetables in those compartments and that they should do so too.3,4

Vegetable consumption was compared on a control day (February 7, 2011) with an intervention day (May 9, 2011) in an elementary school (kindergarten through fifth grade) of approximately 800 students in Richfield, Minnesota. Approximately 75% of students in this school district are racial or ethnic minorities, and 72% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. All study procedures were approved by the University of Minnesota institutional review board, which also waived informed consent.

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