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Snack Foods and Beverages in School

 

Eighty percent of American voters favor national standards that would limit calories, fat, and sodium in snack and À la carte foods sold in U.S. schools and encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy items, according to a new poll commissioned by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project, a joint project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected soon to propose updated standards. The standards likely will apply to snacks and beverages—such as sugary drinks, salty snacks, pizza, ice cream, and french fries—that can be purchased from vending machines, school stores, and à la carte lines in cafeterias. The standard that applies to them now is 30 years old and does not reflect current nutrition science.

Research shows that, during a typical school day, four in 10 students purchase and consume snack foods or beverages, and that such foods are often unhealthy because they are high in fat, sodium, and calories.

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