Teenage attitudes/practices toward the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program at James Monroe High School, Fredericksburg, Virginia
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The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SSP) operate daily in the nation's schools providing nutritious meals to children. These federally sponsored programs operate with the goal of providing nutritious meals for children so as to safeguard their health and well-being. Although participation rates in the school nutrition programs vary according to locality it has been shown that as students progressed in grade level and age participation in the school nutrition programs declined. This study identified the attitudes and practices of teenage students toward the school nutrition programs and evaluated if these attitudes had an affect on participation. Teenagers from a Fredericksburg, Virginia school were questioned using a survey format as the research tool. Students believed (77%) that the SBP and the NSLP should continue and they responded that these programs insured that they ate meals. Teenagers receiving free or reduced priced meals showed attitudes more favorable toward the programs while students paying a full price were more inclined to express dissatisfaction. Respondents did not view the school menu as "healthy" (58%). Eating at school provided an opportunity to socialize with friends which was an important aspect of eating at school for these students. Teenagers expressed an avid interest in learning about nutrition (70%) yet, they did not choose food according to nutritional content (70%). Teens found eating breakfast and lunch meals made them feel better physically and helped them concentrate on their school work (55%).
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