Schools, Junk Food and Soda Pop
Times are a' changing when it comes to school foods in vending machines and school canteens.
A recent CDC (2008) report, summarized in the October 5, 2009 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, shows that 63% of the high schools surveyed no longer sell soda pop or sweetened fruit drinks. That is a 38% increase from their 2006 survey.
In addition, nearly 64% of the schools don't sell salty snacks and candy. In 2006, 46% didn't sell these products.
All 34 states surveyed showed a decrease in the amount of junk food sold in schools. Not surprisingly, the greatest improvements were shown in states that had implemented strong school nutrition policies.
As expected, states vary greatly regarding the number of schools that ban selected items. For example: 23% to 85% forbid sports drinks; 25% to 93% prohibit soda pop; 18% to 88% veto candy and salty snacks.
The study signaled that the most improved states were Mississippi and Tennessee.
Howell Wechsler Ed D, MPH, director of CDC's division of adolescence and school health noted that efforts to improve the school nutrition environment are working. He did, however, say that "there are still far too many schools selling less nutritious food and beverages."
One more important point-Has your school looked into this issue?
Source: Brener N, et al "Availability of less nutritious snack foods and beverages in secondary schools - Selected states, 2002-2008" MMWR 2009; 58: 1-4.