Skip to main content

Indicators of Diet Quality, Nutrition, and Health for Americans by Program Participation Status, 2011–2016: USDA NSLP Report

Resource type
Research, Analysis & Background
Research type
Food/Nutrient Analysis

This study used 2011–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to examine the relationship between estimated program participation, diet quality, indicators of nutrition and health, food consumption patterns, and nutrient intakes. Most results presented in this report are unadjusted and descriptive only, and do not imply causality. They are intended to contribute to the evidence base needed to inform future research and program policy.

Key Findings
  • Among income-eligible students, NSLP participants scored higher on diet quality than nonparticipants.
  • On a given day, among income-eligible students, a higher percentage of NSLP participants consumed vegetables, fruit, milk products, and mixed dishes compared with nonparticipants.
  • Among children from both higher and lower income groups, NSLP participants had higher mean usual intakes of potassium than nonparticipants; however, almost all school children (94 percent) had usual sodium intakes that exceed recommendations.
Page updated: November 16, 2023