Published: January 2015

ID #: 1061

Journal: JAMA Pediatr

Authors: Chriqui JF, Pickel M, Story M

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In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an interim final rule containing nationwide standards for all competitive foods and beverages (CF&Bs). This review examines the influence of state laws and school district-level CF&B policies on student body mass index (BMI) and weight outcomes, consumption, and availability of CF&Bs in order to provide insight into the potential influence of the federal rule. Researchers identified 24 studies for examination and summarized the studies according to the primary direction of the relationship between the policies and the outcome(s) of interest:  expected direction; unexpected direction; mixed results; and nonsignificant relationships. The studies varied in focus, examining policy influences at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and examining the influence of state laws, district policies, food and beverage policies, and beverage-only policies. In 15 of the 24 studies reviewed, laws and policies influenced outcomes in the expected direction, suggesting that these policies are succeeding in reducing the in-school availability of unhealthy CF&Bs and in-school student consumption of such items. The review points to a need for more longitudinal outcome data, as studies examining BMI and weight outcomes were mixed.

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