Study says confusion reigns over whole-grain claims in school lunches

Jun 02, 2009

While most nutrition experts agree that school lunches should include more whole-grain products, a new study from the University of Minnesota finds that food-service workers lack understanding and the resources to meet that goal.

The study, which involved school food-service directors from across Minnesota, appears in the current issue of the Journal of Child and Management. Because they serve so many meals to children each day, school food-service directors have a major influence on students' food choices and in turn their overall health, the authors note.

Most experts recommend at least three servings of whole-grain foods a day, but American children fall far short of that goal, averaging about one serving per day.

The U of M researchers found that while food-service workers are aware of the of whole-grain foods, they aren't always sure whether a food product meets whole-grain criteria. The directors also cited higher costs and difficulty finding vendors who sold whole-grain products.

The latest study is part of an ongoing series in which researchers from the university are measuring awareness of and testing ways to incorporate them into children's diets, particularly in school nutrition programs.

"The goal is to remove confusion surrounding the definition of a whole-grain food and to provide simple standards to follow when ordering whole grain products for school meals," said Len Marquart, the project's lead researcher and an assistant professor in the university's science and nutrition department. "This will require working together--enhanced communication among vendors, distributors and manufacturers along with key players in government, industry and foodservice."

Source: University of Minnesota (news : web)

Explore further: Healthy diets for youth with type 1 diabetes can be hard for parents to obtain

Related Stories

Food For Life spelt bread is recalled

Mar 19, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the voluntary recall of Food For Life brand spelt grain bread due to a labeling error.

Nutritional info helps lunch lady image

Jul 18, 2006

A U.S. study suggests providing nutritional information with high school cafeteria lunch choices improves students' satisfaction with such programs.

Recommended for you

'Beyond aid' in health care: Is it time for scrutiny?

6 hours ago

The UK government's investments in private hospital chains in developing countries, in the form of 'beyond aid' approaches, could actually be hindering inclusive development and need greater scrutiny, argue experts in The BM ...

Cutting health care costs isn't easy

7 hours ago

Convincing the nation's most vulnerable citizens to avoid costly emergency department visits is proving harder than expected. A new study from the University of Iowa found improving access to affordable primary ...

Marijuana users substitute alcohol at 21

7 hours ago

A recent study looked at marijuana and alcohol use in people between the ages of 18 and 24. It's probably not surprising that the results show a drastic increase in alcohol consumption in people just over ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.