Published Online: December 8, 2009
Published in Print: December 9, 2009, as Junk Food in School

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Junk Food in School

"The Impact of Removing Snacks of Low Nutritional Value From Middle Schools"

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Students don’t necessarily gorge themselves on junk food at home when the potato chips and sugary foods get taken out of the vending machines in their schools, according to a study.

Researchers from Yale University surveyed students from three Connecticut middle schools before and after their schools replaced the unhealthy snacks in their vending machines with more-nutritious fare, such as water, fruit juice, baked chips, pretzels, canned fruit, and granola bars. They found that the switchover led to improvements in dietary intake: Students ate better at school and no worse at home.

The researchers say their results counter the forbidden fruit argument, which suggests that students will overcompensate with unhealthy food at home when educators cut off the supply at school. The study was published this month in the journal Health Education & Behavior.

Vol. 29, Issue 14, Page 5

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