Pizza is a popular food that can contribute to high intakes of saturated fat and sodium among children and adolescents. The objective of this study was to compare daily nutrient intakes when a pizza product meeting the US Department of Agriculture's criteria for competitive food entrées under the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) was substituted for usual pizza products consumed during foodservice-prepared school lunch. The study used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2008) dietary recall data from a cross-sectional sample of US children and adolescents (age 5 to 18 years, n=337) who ate pizza during school lunch on 1 day of dietary recall. Daily nutrient intakes based on the consumption of usual pizza products for school lunch (pre-modeled) were compared with intakes modeled by substituting nutrient values from an HUSSC whole-grain pizza product (post-modeled). Paired t tests were used to make the comparison. Post-modeled intakes were lower in daily energy, carbohydrate, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium compared with pre-modeled intakes among children and adolescents (P<0.01). Protein, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and potassium intakes were higher in the post-modeled intake condition compared with the pre-modeled condition (P<0.01). Substituting the healthier pizza product for usual pizza products may significantly improve dietary quality of children and adolescents eating pizza for school lunch, indicating that it could be an effective approach to improve the nutritional quality of school lunch programs.
- HealthierUS School Challenge
- National School Lunch Program