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Read a Q&A about the new report with Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids' Safe & Healthful Foods Project.
Read the press release about the report.
A collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project analyzed data on the types of snack foods and beverages sold in secondary schools via vending machines, school stores, and snack bars.
The data set was extracted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) School Health Profiles 2010: Characteristics of Health Programs Among Secondary Schools in Selected U.S. Sites—a biennial assessment that uses surveys of principals and lead health education teachers to measure health policies and practices in secondary schools on a state-by-state basis across the nation. The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods team analyzed the 2010 Profiles data that focused on one element of the school environment: the availability of snack foods and beverages sold during the school day.
Given these key findings, the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project recommends that the USDA should establish nutrition standards for all snack foods sold regularly on school grounds outside of the school meal programs, and that they should adopt policies and practices that ensure effective implementation of the standards.
Research indicates that the majority of snack foods and beverages sold in schools are high in calories, fat and sugar. To ensure that all foods sold in schools are healthier, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages and align them with the school meal guidelines. This graphic compares what is currently available to students with healthier options.
* The standards used in this comparison are those recommended by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project’s Health Impact Assessment: National Nutrition Standards for Snack and a la Carte Foods and Beverages Sold in Schools. Calorie information is taken from the USDA nutrient database (8/29/12): http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/list