'Competitive' Food and Beverage Policies

Are They Influencing Childhood Overweight Trends?

This study examined whether new policies restricting sales in schools of so-called competitive foods and beverages—those that fall outside of what is served through federally reimbursed school meal programs—influenced increasing rates of overweight children in the Los Angeles Unified School District and the rest of California. After these policies, which set stricter nutrition standards for certain food and beverages sold to students, took effect, the rate of increase in overweight children significantly diminished among 5th graders in Los Angeles and among 5th grade boys and 7th graders in the rest of California. The extent to which the new nutritional policies contributed to the change is unclear.

This is one of the first studies examining the postulated population-level influence of recently implemented policies aimed at sales of competitive foods and beverages in schools.

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