Schools that inculcate healthy eating habits by practicing what they preach can go a long way in promoting long term diet choices in elementary children, according to a study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Texas.
The researchers divided the study in two parts. The first part aimed at an ambience change that afforded many selections of food under the low fat category. The first part entailed the kids to choose from three choices, one which was lower in fat than the rest. Part 2 encompassed just two choices, one of which was lower in fat.
The findings showed that when choices were less, the selection pattern in children certainly varied, with children gravitating towards low fat food.
This was summed up by the researchers thus,"Taken together, the results of this study indicate that a minimal intervention to decrease the number of competing, high-fat, popular entrée options is sufficient to increase children's selection of low- or moderate-fat entrees."
The researchers also conducted surveys of food caterers and solicited views from the head of the schools to gauge importance of nutritional standards in competitive foods. The findings of the survey conducted amongst 228 foodservice caterers and 79 principals at schools in Pennsylvania found that only few schools gave importance to nutritional competitive foods. Clearly, School heads were more keen and inclined to enforce the establishment of nutritional standards in competitive foods.