On days when children brought their own after-school snack, they consumed more salty and sugary foods and nearly twice as many calories than on days when they consumed only after-school program-provided snacks, says a Harvard School of Public Health study.
Researchers recorded snacks served to and brought in by 298 children in 18 after-school programs in Boston, Massachusetts, on five program days in April and May 2011. They measured children’s snack consumption on two program days and measured the effect of nonprogram snacks on children’s dietary intake after school.
Researchers found that nonprogram snacks contained more sugary beverages and candy than program-provided snacks. Having a nonprogram snack was associated with significantly higher consumption of total calories, sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, and foods with added sugars during the snack period.
Source: Identifying Sources of Children’s Consumption of Junk Food in Boston After-School Programs, April-May 2011, Erica L. Kenney, ScD, MPH; S. Bryn Austin, ScD, MS; Angie L. Cradock, ScD, MPE; Catherine M. Giles, MPH; Rebekka M. Lee, ScD, MS; Kirsten K. Davison, PhD, MS; Steven L. Gortmaker, PhD, Preventing Chronic Disease, DOI: 10.5888/pcd11.140301, published 20 November 2014.