Gender Differences in Nutritional Quality and Consumption of Lunches Brought from Home to School. Academic Article uri icon


  • Gender difference in the lunches brought from home to school and the amount consumed by elementary and intermediate school students were examined using data collected from 12 schools in Texas. The amount and nutritional quality of food items brought and consumed was evaluated, by comparing the results to the 2012 school meal standards, and Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). Almost all lunches brought from home contained grain and meat/meat alternatives, and the amount brought and consumed exceeded the NSLP standards. The majority of students did not bring fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods, but those who brought consumed most of what they brought. Among elementary school students, only 9% of boys and 14% of girls brought vegetables and the amount brought and consumed did not meet the standards. Although carbohydrate and protein consumption were adequate for boys and girls, the intakes of micronutrients and fiber did not meet the requirements across both genders at both school levels. Overall, lunches brought from home were not well balanced and did not meet NSLP standards and DRIs. It is imperative to identify strategies to improve the nutritional quality of lunches brought from home considering gender difference in food choice and educating parents and children on what is a healthy well-balanced lunch.

published proceedings

  • Int J Environ Res Public Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Song, S., Ishdorj, A., & Dave, J. M.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • December 2021