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  • Thumbnail for FUELED BY FOOD: THE IMPACT OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM ON COLORADO STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
    FUELED BY FOOD: THE IMPACT OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM ON COLORADO STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE by Polese, Madeline

    Health and nutrition are gaining momentum as known indicators of academic success. Students, while at school, are exposed to many food choices, which may unknowingly affect their performance. In an attempt to explain the relationship between school- provided nutrition and academic performance, this study uses data from the Colorado Department of Education and the USDA’s FNS to see whether participation in the National School Lunch Program has an impact on state-administered tests, controlling for other factors affecting test scores. This study concludes that the model is not complete, therefore the findings are not definite; however, it is still found that the NSLP has a statistically significant impact on test scores. This study also provides a new way for public health initiatives to be evaluated, by using state-administered test results as the dependent variable. This study leaves much room for future studies to modify and improve upon its model using a more complete dataset. Overall, the study demonstrates the importance of considering the entire school environment exposed to students when evaluating their performance.