Since 2000, public schools have cut down on the amount of junk food served in cafeterias and increased the number of physical education courses required for elementary school students, says a survey conducted by the Atlanta-based federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Between 2000 and 2006, the percentage of schools serving french fries dropped 21 percentage points, to 19 percent, while the percentage of schools offering bottled water in vending machines increased 17 percentage points, to 46 percent.
The study, published in the October issue of the Journal of School Health, also found that nearly 90 percent of all school districts required some physical education, and that the percentage of elementary schools that required physical education for all students increased by 11 percentage points, to 93 percent.
Data for the report were gathered from a nationally representative survey of 538 school districts.
A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2007 edition of Education Week