Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mehta, Sudha

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Children--Nutrition--Psychological aspects; School lunchrooms; cafeterias; etc; Junior high school students


The nutritional adequacy of brown bag lunches and the effectiveness of two types of nutrition education on the improvement of these lunches was determined by a study conducted with 48 female students ages 12 to 14 years. Three groups of seventh and eighth grade Home Economics students participated in this study. Group 1 took part in a classroom nutrition education program based on a discussion-decision method which emphasized student participation. Group 2's nutrition program included a booklet titled "Brown Bagger Super Special" which was read independently. Group 3 served as the control group. Nutrition knowledge tests written for the study were given before and immediately after the nutrition education program. Improvement in lunches was determined by direct observations made in the school cafeteria before, immediately after, and four weeks after the discontinuation of the programs. The lunches were rated using a 20 point system based on four food groups. There were no significant differences among the groups either before, immediately after, or four weeks after the nutrition education programs. Also, there were no significant differences among the three groups for nutrition knowledge scores before nutrition education. A significant F value was found for nutrition knowledge scores after the nutrition programs and the Newman-Keuls Test identified the differences to be between Group 1 and Group 2. This difference was found between the classroom nutrition education group where the students were actively involved and the nutrition booklet group where the students were passive. The classroom program produced a greater increase in nutrition knowledge scores. However, this difference was not significant when compared to the control group. The nutrition education programs designed for the study were ineffective in changing the group's lunch score and their nutrition knowledge score. This may be due to the limited time allowance for the program. A more intensive program may have produced more significant changes in group scores. In comparing the contents of the Type A lunch to brown bag lunches, it was found that the Type A lunch consistently provided a nutritionally adequate lunch while the brown bag lunch was adequate in bread and protein servings but lacking in milk, fruit, and vegetable servings. This study confirmed that brown bag lunches are nutritionally inadequate as compared to Type A lunches. The Type A lunch provides a greater selection of foods than the brown bag lunch but this does not mean that all of these foods are being consumed. Another consideration is the effect of inadequate lunches on the growth and development of students. Lunch adequacy and its effect on students are areas for further research.


Bibliography: pages 37-38.


v, 69 pages




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