Strong State Laws on School Snacks, Drinks May to Help Prevent Student Weight Gain
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Received from RWJF August 15, 2012
New Study Adds to Body of Research Showing Schools' Impact on Student Health
With nearly one in three U.S. children overweight or obese, schools across the country have been making changes to the foods and beverages they offer in order to better support student health. Bridging the Gap, an RWJF research program, has been tracking those and other changes to nutrition and physical activity practices in our nation's schools. Several new resources from Bridging the Gap paint a comprehensive picture:
A study published this week finds that children and teens in states with strong laws restricting the sale of unhealthy snack foods and beverages in schools gained less weight over a three-year period than those living in states with no such policies.
A new research brief shows the progress schools are making to remove sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas, sports drinks, and fruit drinks, from their vending machines, stores, and à la carte lines. But it also shows that these drinks remain widely available, especially in middle and high schools.
Finally, a new report shows that the nation's middle and high schools are improving some of their nutrition practices, but have made little to no progress to encourage physical activity during the school day. The report also highlights disparities in health-related practices that impact students from different socioeconomic, racial or ethnic groups.