New Study: Restricting Junk Food in Schools Could Help Students Manage their Weight
|August 13, 2012||Posted by Stacy under Junk food in school|
I’ll come right out and say that I’m not a fan of bake sales, vending machines and snack bars hawking junk food and sugary drinks on school grounds. In my humble opinion, our kids are already getting enough soda, chips and treats elsewhere. The last thing that they need is to have them at school! And now there’s some new research to back me up.
A brand-new study in the journal Pediatrics (released online today) found that regulating the sale of “competitive foods” (any food or drink sold outside the federal meal program) may help keep students at healthier weights. In the study, researchers examined the height and weight data of middle-school students in 40 states. Those in places with strong competitive food laws packed on fewer pounds between 5th and 8th grade than those in states with weak laws or no laws at all.
“Strong” laws were defined as those using compelling language and containing clear-cut nutrition requirements, such as limits on fats and sugars. “Weak” laws were less stringent and included references to “healthy foods” without offering specific guidelines.
Researchers found that having strong and consistent laws throughout all grade levels (K through 12) is imperative to keeping the excess lbs at bay.
In today’s online issue of U.S. News and World Report, Marilyn Schwartz, Ph.D., deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., notes that parents in states without strong laws governing competitive foods can still take action. Ask to be on your school district’s committee that writes school wellness policy or your child’s school wellness committee.
Ok, I know that some people cringe at the idea of laws governing what their child can and cannot eat. Certain food and beverage companies will certainly not like them. And for cash-strapped schools, it would mean losing a potential revenue stream. What do YOU think about it?