A Foods and Nutrient Comparison Study of Meals Eaten at Home vs Meals Eaten at Head Start Centers in Washington DC, USA

Beverly M. Copeland, Allan A. Johnson


The purpose of this research was to investigate the food energy and nutrient intake, and adequacy of meals served at Head Start centers versus meals consumed at home among Head Start Children. A cross-sectional descriptive survey research design was utilized. A convenience sample of 195 Head Start child and caregiver pairs was recruited from two Head Start sites within the District of Columbia (DC). Weight and height were measured and used to calculate BMI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI for age and gender growth charts were used to evaluate BMI levels. Dietary intakes were collected using the 24-hour food recall method, and Head Start center menus were analyzed using Nutritionist Pro Software (Axxya Systems, Redmond, WA). Data analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19 (IBM SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). Results of the study showed no significant difference in total calorie intakes between the overweight/obese children and normal weight children who consumed meals both at home and at Head Start centers. However, in both overweight/obese and normal weight children who consumed meals totally at home, lower nutrient intakes were noted when compared to recommended levels. It was concluded that Head Start children who consumed meals both at school and home on the day of the recall, had higher intakes of food energy and were more likely to meet recommended nutrient intakes than Head Start children who did not consume any portion of their meals at school.

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19044/esj.2016.v12n33p1

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.19044/esj.2016.v12n33p1

European Scientific Journal (ESJ)


ISSN: 1857 - 7881 (Print)
ISSN: 1857 - 7431 (Online)


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