Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kids eat less junk food when middle schools stop providing it

Date:
December 6, 2009
Source:
Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
It seems like a no-brainer, and it is: Take the junk food out of school vending machines and cafeterias, and kids will eat less junk food, according to a new study that took place in Connecticut.

It seems like a no-brainer, and it is: Take the junk food out of school vending machines and cafeterias, and kids will eat less junk food, according to a new study that took place in Connecticut.

When schools started removing low nutritional value snack foods and soft drinks as options, some claimed there would be a "forbidden fruit phenomenon" and that kids would go home and eat twice as much.

Instead, "we found that when you take soda and high-fat snacks out of schools, students did not compensate at home. Instead, they ate better at school and no worse at home," said lead study author Marlene Schwartz, Ph.D., deputy director at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.

Schwartz explained that financial pressure from both the food industry, looking to build brand loyalty, and the schools, which get a cut of the profits from vending machines, is the main reason there is opposition to removing soft drinks and junk foods.

The study, published in the December issue of the journal Health Education & Behavior, looked at six middle schools over two years. In the three target schools, snacks meeting current nutrition standards in Connecticut (including water, 100 percent fruit juice, baked chips, pretzels, granola bars and canned fruit) replaced items that did not meet the standards (including potato chips, doughnuts, sweetened sports drinks, soda, snack cakes and cookies). The foods at the three comparison schools remained the same.

"Junk food is not something to be taken lightly," said Joel Fuhrman, M.D., a family physician, nutritional researcher and author. He said that soft drinks are addicting and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recognizes that children today are expected to live shorter life spans than their parents are, due at least in part to nutrition-related conditions like heart disease and cancer.

Schwartz and Fuhrman agree that even the replacement foods allowed by the state -- while healthier -- were not necessarily the best options. For example, Fuhrman noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend feeding children fruit juice, because of its contribution to obesity and diabetes. "In other words," he said "even the foods that weren't as bad, they weren't health foods."

"We live in a society where it is easy, cheap, and convenient to eat unhealthy foods, and difficult to eat healthy foods," Schwartz said. "It's been this way for so long that many people consider this normal. It's not -- schools need to be a safe haven for children that sell healthy foods children need to eat more of, not the unhealthy foods we tell children to limit."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for Advancing Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Schwartz et al. The Impact of Removing Snacks of Low Nutritional Value From Middle Schools. Health Education & Behavior, 2009; 36 (6): 999 DOI: 10.1177/1090198108329998

Cite This Page:

Center for Advancing Health. "Kids eat less junk food when middle schools stop providing it." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091205233015.htm>.
Center for Advancing Health. (2009, December 6). Kids eat less junk food when middle schools stop providing it. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091205233015.htm
Center for Advancing Health. "Kids eat less junk food when middle schools stop providing it." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091205233015.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins