Federal school lunch rules require that children take a fruit or vegetable. Kids aren’t eating healthier, according to a new study. reports the Washington Post. Most of the healthy food ends up in the trash.
“The basic question we wanted to explore was: does requiring a child to select a fruit or vegetable actually correspond with consumption. The answer was clearly no,” Sarah Amin, the lead author of the study, said in a statement.
Children took 29 percent more fruit and vegetables after the rule went into effect, the study found. But their consumption of fruits and vegetables declined by 13 percent.
Food waste went up. In many cases, the researchers wrote, “children did not even taste the [fruits and vegetables] they chose at lunch.”
Last year, a Harvard study using a different methodology found students ate the same amount of fruit, but 16.2 percent more vegetables. However, students threw out 40 percent of fruit on their trays and 60 to 75 percent of vegetables.