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BYU professor: Changing 1 thing increases students’ fruit, vegetable consumption by 50 percent

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PROVO -- Kids throw away what ends up being millions of dollars in fruits and vegetables daily in schools across the country, but one researcher at BYU may have a solution for schools here in Utah.

"We found that moving recess to before lunch increases the amount of fruit and vegetable consumption by about 50 percent, and it also broadens the base because it increase the fraction of kids eating vegetables by about 45 percent," said Joe Price, who is an Associate Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University.

The reasoning behind the research is that kids feel they are losing recess time by sitting at lunch, so they cut out eating fruits and vegetables in order get out on the playground more quickly.

But, if lunch is after recess, they have time to focus on filling up on the good stuff.

Also, kids work up an appetite during recess. FOX 13 News' Ashton Goodell has more details on this story, see the video above for her report.

8 comments

  • Cr

    our school Brookside Elementary in Springville, UT changed to this schedule with recess BEFORE lunch two years ago. The proof of how much more of their lunch food the kids were eating was in the dramatic decrease in the amount of trash bags that were carried out of the lunch room everyday. The idea worked.

  • beth smith

    Didn’t work here , tried it for seven years . They threw away more. There still isn’t time in the schedule . At least when they play after we allowed them to eat longer if they wanted. They come in super charged after play and have a hard time settling down to eat. It would help if the fruit and veggies were cut into smaller pieces.

  • marie bindrup

    It is still about choices. If they have 15 min or 30 min, if they have chips and a cookie, you know those will get eaten first. They get full and chuck the rest. This is coming from a teacher and a parent. We need to teach our kids about healthy choices, and then ensure their success by not sabatoging them with stuffing sugar etc in their lunch.

  • alana

    BS my kids school does this and while They think it is working it’s not i have been there during lunch and these kids are not eating they are talking I watched an entire kindergarden class eat nothing they are given 20 min to eat after recess that does not include the time it take for them to get through the lunch line y son had 10 min after getting his lunch to find a spot to sit and then to eat his lunch was thrown away he comes hoe hungry because he is not eating so you think they are eating more fruits and vegtables they are not they are now just throwing everything away…

  • Jr

    My school does this and it is awful for the kids. If you are a slow eater your lunch goes in the trash. If you are a fast eater you have to sit without talking or moving until everyone is finished. After lunch they are not allowed to go to the bathroom until the next recess.

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