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Northwest Missouri State University

Library Home » Electronic Theses » Recreation » Molly A. Tuggle

The Effect of Price and Availability of Healthy Food Alternatives on Student Choices During School Lunch

Author: Molly A. Tuggle
M.S. in Recreation
Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
May 2009

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of healthy food alternatives on the food choices of secondary school students. The researcher focused on one particular lunchroom environment within a secondary school. A single subject research design was used to study purchasing behavior among students during lunch periods over several days. Results related to the impact of healthy food alternatives on lunch room choices showed four different phases used within the study. The first phase introduced healthy alternatives to the a la carte menu for students to buy at full price. The students were able to choose from traditional items and healthy alternatives. During the second phase, the prices of the healthy alternatives were reduced and then increased back to full price during the third phase. The healthy alternatives were taken out of the a la carte menu during the final phase offering only traditional food items. These phases allowed the researcher to examine if offering healthy alternatives and pricing changes of those items affects student food choices during a single lunch period. Results indicated that introducing healthy alternatives and reducing the price of these same items does not have an effect on student choices during a school lunch period.