The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 included a mandate to school districts participating in the federal school meal program to establish and implement policies addressing wellness, including nutrition, by the start of the 2006-07 school year. Using data from the 2008 School Health Profiles principal survey for middle and junior/senior high schools in 28 states, investigators compared the distribution of food and nutrition-related policies and practices by geographic location, minority enrollment, and free/reduced-price school meal enrollment. Researchers found that, compared to urban and suburban schools, schools located in towns and rural communities had significantly fewer policies that support healthy eating strategies and ban food marketing, and were less likely to serve fruits and vegetables at school celebrations, have fruits and vegetables available in vending machines or school stores, and limit serving-size packages. Schools serving the highest percentage of minority students consistently reported the same or better school food environment. However, schools serving the highest percentage of lower-income students had varied results: vending and low-nutrient, energy-dense vending polices were consistently better, but fruits and vegetables availability related policies were consistently worse.
Rural Disparities in the Distribution of Policies that Support Healthy Eating in U.S. Secondary Schools
This aim of this work is to evaluate disparities in school-level nutrition policies and practices across the U.S. More specifically, the objective of this research is to (a) determine the prevalence of school-level nutrition policies and practices in a large sample of schools across multiple states stratified by school-level socioeconomic … More
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Children and adolescents see between 4,500 and 6,000 food ads on TV each year, the majority of which are for products high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients. In April 2011, a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children … More