School Lunch Survey: Healthy Options Unlikely to Have Negative Impact

A few years ago, the federal government created a set of mandates for schools to follow to ensure that students have access to healthy options in their school lunch program. Since then, some have worried that the mandates would discourage some students from choosing to eat school lunches at all. But a recent study out of Washington state actually found that the program hasn’t had that effect. So what do people really think about healthy school lunch options?

school lunch

School Lunches

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 81% of respondents agreed that schools should provide healthy lunch options to students. And 77% even think that it should be a requirement for schools to do so. As far as the impact of a healthy lunch is concerned, 80% of respondents feel that having access to healthy lunches as a kid can help develop healthy eating habits for later in life.

Parent Opinions

Overall, 24% of respondents said they currently have at least one school aged child. Of those respondents, 63% said that their children usually eat school lunches. And 69% of parents said that they are more likely to encourage their children to eat school lunches when there are healthy options provided.

Student Opinions

When it comes to the children themselves, it seems that opinions on healthy foods are just a bit different. 56% of parents said that their kids usually enjoy their school lunches. And 54% said that their children are more likely to choose to eat school lunches when healthy options are provided. Looking back, 71% of respondents said they usually ate school lunches when they were kids. However, just 38% considered their school lunches to be at least somewhat healthy.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Children eating lunch at school from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on January 4 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.