Harvard study suggests new school meal rules are working

The study shows that schools are meeting or exceeding many of the intended goals.

MANHATTAN, Kan.–A recent Harvard School of Public Health study revealed that new nutrition standards for school lunches are meeting or exceeding many of the intended goals, including increasing students’ consumption of fruits and vegetables, said Sandy Procter, a registered dietitian and nutrition specialist for K-State Research and Extension.

“It’s taken a long time to see where we’re at and how these changes are taking effect,” Procter said. “As they’ve rolled in, probably the No. 1 change we’re seeing is that kids actually are eating more fruits and vegetables as a result of these updated standards.”

Procter said the Harvard study, cited in the USDA fact sheet, indicates students are eating about 16 percent more vegetables and 23 percent more fruits for lunch.