Maine's Law Banning Food Ads in Schools

Understanding the Law

In 2007, the Maine legislature passed the first state law prohibiting brand specific advertising of certain unhealthy foods and beverages in schools. To help Maine schools comply with the law, the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN) developed this fact sheet.

To comply with the law, schools need to eliminate all brand-specific advertising of "Foods with Minimal Nutritional Value" (FMNV). To do that, NPLAN encourages schools—with assistance from students, teachers, parents, staff, or community volunteers—to thoroughly survey school facilities and grounds for brand-specific advertising of FMNV.

Based on federal law, FMNVs include:

  • Soda
  • Water ices
  • Chewing gum
  • Candies (including hard candies, jellies and gums, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy, and candy-coated popcorn)
  • Any food containing less than 5 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for each of eight specified nutrients per 100 calories and less than 5 percent of the RDI for each of eight specified nutrients per serving. The eight nutrients are: protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium, and iron.
  • Any artificially sweetened food (a food that provides less than 5% of the RDI for each of the eight specified nutrients per serving).

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