Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study

This study is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the school meal programs since the updated nutrition standards for school meals were phased in beginning School Year 2012-2013. A study methodology report that describes the study design, sampling and data collection and a Summary Report that provides a brief overview of the study and key findings from the various reports are also available.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Review of WIC Food Packages: Improving Balance and Choice

With support from the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) convened an expert committee to review and assess the nutritional status and food and nutritional needs of the WIC-eligible population and provide recommendations based on its review and grounded in the most recently available science. The committee produced three reports as part of this task. This third and final report, in which the committee provides its final analyses, recommendations, and the supporting rationale, is available for download from the National Academy of Sciences.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Nutrient and Food Group Analysis of USDA Foods in Five of its Food and Nutrition Programs - 2014

This study updates a 2009 analysis of the nutrient and food group content of the USDA Foods offered and delivered through Federal nutrition assistance programs. It examines the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in school year (SY) 2013-2014. The study also estimated the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores under the HEI-2010 and the HEI-2005 scoring systems for each program’s benefits.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of American School Children by National School Lunch Program Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2010

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of American school children, broken out by participation in the National School Lunch Program and income status.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of Young American Children by WIC Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of young children who are WIC participants, income-eligible nonparticipants, and higher income participants.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of Americans by SNAP Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants, compared with income-eligible nonparticipants and higher-income nonparticipants.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
WIC Food Package Cost Report, FY 2010

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) distributes Federal grants to State agencies for providing supplemental foods, nutrition education including breastfeeding promotion and support, and health care and social service referrals to nutritionally at-risk, low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and nonbreastfeeding postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5. The Federal costs of WIC in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 totaled $6.7 billion, $4.6 billion of which were food costs. Food costs averaged $41.44 per month per participant. This report estimates the average monthly food costs for each of 5 WIC participant subgroups and estimates total dollars spent on 17 major categories of WIC-eligible foods in FY 2010. The participant and food level costs in this report are USDA’s first estimates since implementation of the 2009 WIC food package changes.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

This report describes findings from the evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program conducted during the 2010– 2011 school year. The evaluation had two components: (1) an impact study to estimate program impacts on participating elementary students and schools; and (2) an implementation study to examine how the FFVP operates in the selected elementary schools.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV

This report summarizes findings from the fourth School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-IV), which collected data from nationally representative samples of school districts and schools in school year (SY) 2009-10. As in prior studies, the nutrient content of the average meals offered and served in the Nation’s schools was compared with regulatory standards in effect at the time—the School Meal Initiative (SMI) nutrition standards—as well as selected recommendations included in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In January 2012, USDA issued new standards for school meals to be phased in over 3 years beginning in SY 2012-13. The data reported here thus serve as a marker of progress in achieving the SMI standards, and a baseline for measuring future improvements under the new standards. The study also collected information about the availability of competitive foods—foods sold in competition to USDA school meals through a la carte sales in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and other venues. Finally, the study collected data from a sample of elementary schools participating in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) and compared them to elementary schools nationwide.

Resource | Research | Breastfeeding
Evaluation of the Birth Month Breastfeeding Changes to the WIC Food Packages

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has been providing nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health referral services to low-income mothers and their children for over 30 years. In 2006 the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to review the WIC food packages. The IOM proposed major changes to improve nutrition and encourage breastfeeding but also expressed the concern that changes related to partial breastfeeding may have unintended consequences. The IOM recommended that FNS conduct an impact study evaluating the birth month breastfeeding changes to the WIC food packages. This study responds to that recommendation.