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Updated school nutrition standards reduced weight gain in students from low-income families, study says

The study compared the BMI of elementary students before and after the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was implemented.
School lunch trays on a table.
Photo: Shutterstock

A new study reveals that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) may have helped reduce obesity in children from low-income families.

The study, published in JAMA Network, compared the body mass index (BMI) of elementary students before and after the HHFKA was implemented in 2012.

Researchers found that students from low-income families who participated in free or reduced-price school meals before the implementation of HHFKA were more likely to progress to a high BMI during their primary school years than students from low-income families who received such meals after the act was put in place.

Passed in 2010, HHFKA strengthened the nutrition requirements for the National School Lunch Program while aiming to increase student uptake in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

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