In 2012, Massachusetts implemented a competitive food law similar to the fully implemented version of the national Smart Snack standards. The NOURISH study (Nutrition Opportunities to Understand Reforms Involving Student Health) was created to assess the nutritional quality (compliance) and availability of competitive foods and beverages in middle and high schools before and after the law was implemented, and to examine the degree to which compliance would change over time. Researchers used food/beverage data collected via direct observation in 36 Massachusetts school districts and 7 control state districts at baseline (2012), one year (2013), and two years (2014) after the policy. High schools increased snack compliance in 2013 (55.1%) and 2014 (62.2%) compared to baseline (15.3%). Middle schools also increased snack compliance in 2013 (68.1%) compared to baseline (18.6%) but saw a decrease in compliance in 2014 (54.5%). For beverages, both middle schools and high schools in Massachusetts increased compliance in 2013, and then showed further increases in 2014. In control states, competitive food and beverage availability remained stable in middle and high schools throughout the study and alignment with the Massachusetts nutrition standards remained low. By 2014, 60 percent of competitive foods and 79 percent of competitive beverages in NOURISH schools were compliant with the new policy.
Published: April 2016
ID #: 70551
Journal: Am J Public Health
Authors: Gorski MT, Cohen JFW, Hoffman JA, et al.
Age Groups: Adolescents (grades 9 to 12), Young adolescents (grades 6 to 8)
Keywords: Competitive foods, Nutrition standards, Snacks, Sugar-sweetened beverages, Vending machines
Resource Type: Journal Article
Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs, School & After School
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