Do School Nutrition Programs Influence Child Weight? A Treatment Effect Analysis

Schools have significant influence on children’s health making health interventions targeting schools more likely to succeed such as the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP). A key question that this literature currently concentrates on is to what extent do SBP and/or NSLP directly contribute to the observed outcome of child weight? This study assesses the impact by analyzing multiple simultaneous treatments on weight as the child progresses from 1st to 8th grade while acknowledging self-selection into the programs. Specifically, we utilize Average Treatment Effect on the Treated (ATT) and Difference-in-Differences (DID) methodologies to address the issue. We find that participating in only NSLP decreases the probability of overweight; however, participating in both programs decreases the probability of healthy weight and increases the probability of overweight.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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