The School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study provides data on a broad array of topics, including critical information about the food and nutrient content of school meals, the costs of school meals, the food environments in schools, and the contribution of school meals to children's overall diets.
- Nutrition and dietary guidelines
- Dietary intake data
- NSLP and SBP
- School nutrition standards
- Food Purchases, Intakes, and Dietary Quality
- Nutrition and Food Assistance Programs
- Program Integrity
- Human Services
Liz Gearan is a registered dietitian who specializes in evaluations of federal nutrition assistance programs, particularly the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). She has expertise analyzing the quality of diets and menus using various measures such as the Healthy Eating Index, usual nutrient intakes, food choices, and food sources of nutrients.
Gearan is currently directing the School Meal Approaches, Resources, and Trends study and is the deputy project director for the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study, both of which are examining how districts and schools are implementing updated nutrition standards for school meals. She has studied the diet quality of individuals participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the NSLP and SBP. Among her other projects, she has researched the relationship between food stamp household spending patterns and diet quality, developed methods to collect dietary intake data from infants and toddlers, and gathered data on the food and physical activity environments in Head Start centers.
Prior to joining Mathematica, Gearan was a pediatric nutritionist at Uphams Corner Community Health Center in Massachusetts. She holds an M.S. in nutrition and health promotion from Simmons College.
More Nutritious School Meals Reach Millions of Children Since Passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
Updated nutrition standards called for in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) have made school meals significantly healthier, according to a recent article.
Introduction to the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study
This video introduces the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study, which was commissioned by the USDA Food & Nutrition Service to examine implementation of school nutrition standards.