Report: Mass. schools’ bans on junk food are working
WBUR - 07/23/2015
Recent state standards that called for bans on sugary sodas, potato chips and other vending machine snacks in schools are working, says a study published Wednesday.
The study looked at “competitive” food available in school — foods offered for sale beyond the standard school meals and typically found in school stores, vending machines or a la carte lines. It found that Massachusetts schools are offering significantly fewer foods that fail to meet the standards.
“What we showed in our Massachusetts data is that schools are able to implement the standards effectively with very little technical assistance, with no financial assistance,” said Jessica Hoffman, a Northeastern associate professor and the study’s lead author.
While school lunches have always had to comply with federal health standards, soft drinks and other products offered outside the standard lunch menu did not. The Massachusetts regulations went into effect during the 2012-2013 school year and were some of the strictest in the nation at the time.