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Nutrition: School-Based Programs Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity


What the CPSTF Found

About The Systematic Review

The CPSTF finding is based on evidence from a systematic review conducted on behalf of the CPSTF by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice, and policy related to promoting good nutrition.

Summary of Results

Detailed results from the systematic review are available in the CPSTF finding pdf icon [PDF - 124 KB].

Forty-five reports in forty-one studies qualified for the systematic review.

  • A wide variation was seen in:
    • Combinations of components (activities)
    • Length of study (< 3 months to 60 months)
    • Age of study population (K–12, median age 9.3 years; most students were in grades 3–5)
    • Length of follow-up period (55% immediate follow-up to 2% at 48 months)
  • Results were measured in terms of behavioral outcomes including changes in intake of fruit and vegetables, fat, and saturated fat.
  • Study outcomes were based on self-report of dietary intake, which is probably subject to reporting bias (e.g., social desirability—the possibility that answers may be influenced by what the respondent thinks is socially acceptable).
  • Although reported changes were in the desired direction, they were small and are questionable because of the potential bias of self-reports.

Summary of Economic Evidence

An economic review of this intervention was not conducted because the CPSTF did not have enough information to determine if the intervention works.


Applicability of this intervention across different settings and populations was not assessed because the CPSTF did not have enough information to determine if the intervention works.

Evidence Gaps

No content is available for this section.

Study Characteristics

No content is available for this section.