Healthy Concessions: High School Students' Responses to Healthy Concession Stand Changes


  • We thank the Muskie Boosters organization and the members of the project committee without whom this project could not have happened. This study was supported by a grant from the Wellmark Foundation. Salary support for Dr. Laroche came from a NIH career development award, K23HL093354.



A previous sales data analysis demonstrated success in selling healthier items at a concession stand. Questions remained regarding student satisfaction and whether the intervention reached non-health-conscious students.


Cross-sectional anonymous samples of students at a large midwestern high school were surveyed before and after an intervention improved the number of healthier items available at the concession stand.


The survey was completed by 301 students preintervention and 314 students postintervention. Satisfaction remained good (3.7 preintervention and 3.6 postintervention). Satisfaction with the variety and taste of foods increased. We compared students who felt having healthy items were important at the concessions to those who did not. Overall satisfaction with concessions did not differ between groups. The latter group (healthy items not important) reported improved satisfaction with food variety (2.8 to 3.1, p = .02) and the former reported improved satisfaction with healthy foods (2.5 to 2.9, p = .03) and overall taste (3.2 to 3.4, p = .02). Of the healthy items not important students 76% reported purchasing at least 1 new healthier food.


Adding healthier foods to school concession stands has positive effects on student satisfaction, sales, and reaches all students whether or not they care about having healthy items available.