Does the National School Lunch Program improve children's dietary outcomes?

Benjamin L. Campbell, Rodolfo M. Nayga, John L. Park, Andres Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The National School Lunch Program's effect on children's diets has been extensively studied. Results have tended to be inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of the program. Utilizing more specific treatment groups, we find that participants in the National School Lunch Program do not consume a higher-quality diet at lunch than children choosing not to participate, even though the program is offered - but rather consume a higher quantity of foods while consuming similar amounts at other meals. Furthermore, children attending schools not participating in the National School Lunch Program have dietary outcomes that are not significantly different from program participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1130
Number of pages32
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul


  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • National School Lunch Program
  • dietary intake
  • propensity score matching
  • vitamins and minerals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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