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Junk Food in Oregon Schools


Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that Oregon has been leading the way in improving school food since 2007.  That was the year that Oregon passed a law restricting junk food in schools, and also launched our nationally-recognized Farm to School and School Garden program. 

But now, seven years later, junk food is still being marketed at Oregon schools. There’s something wrong with this picture.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, junk food companies spent $2 billion in one year marketing to kids.  Ads targeting children promoting sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy foods undermine everyone’s efforts to promote healthy options and to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.  That’s why the American Heart Association is working to pass a law eliminating the junk food marketing in Oregon schools.

It’s simple: If foods don’t pass Oregon’s nutrition standards for what can be SOLD in schools, they shouldn’t be MARKETED in schools, either.

Now we have a chance to get junk food marketing out of schools here in Oregon—and I am asking for your help. We need stories and pictures of junk food marketing in Oregon schools… and the school year is about to end

So I am asking for your last-minute help.

Will you send me a DESCRIPTION or a PICTURE of junk food marketing at your school?  Please say WHERE and WHEN the picture or story is from

Email your stories and photos to [email protected].

(If you do not have kids in school or if you don’t work at a school, please help us out by forwarding this message to a few friends or relatives who do!)

What does junk food marketing in schools look like? Here are a few ways it happens in schools:

-          Ads on vending machines, scoreboards, banners, book covers, and athletic uniforms

-          Benefit nights at fast food restaurants

-          Fundraiser sale items like cookie dough, pizza and doughnuts

-          Channel One TV

-          Donated classroom materials, such as math or reading worksheets

-          Pizza or junk food coupons as awards

-          Box top programs

And of course, there are other ways too, so I appreciate you sharing what you see in your school.

Thank you in advance for your help, in the form of stories, descriptions, or pictures. 

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