Thesis Title

The Effect fo Sugar and Processed Food on Student On-Task Behavior in the National School Lunch Program: A Review of the Literature

Graduation Date

Summer 2010

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


Not too long ago, people in the United States ate real, fresh, seasonal food. Today, the prevalence of low quality foods has made it increasingly challenging to feed young children healthy, nutritionally balanced meals. Furthermore, what a child eats is often limited by his/her parents’ income. Inexpensive food is often processed, full of sugar, and nutrient deficient; yet is also easily accessible. Research supports the fact that a wholesome diet delivers essential vitamins and minerals, protects against disease, and ensures proper growth. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was instituted to provide free lunches to those in need, but these lunches contain a significant amount of highly processed foods. How does highly processed food affect a child’s ability to stay on-task and perform well in school? The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of serving nutritious lunches in free lunch programs, thus providing students with at least one nutritious meal a day.

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