High-calorie beverages and other drinks not favored by federal nutritional guidelines appear to be widely available in public elementary schools, a study in next month’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine concludes.
Although U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations at the time of the study prohibited the sale of foods of minimal nutritional value, including soda, in the cafeteria during meals, those products could be sold elsewhere in the school during lunch.
Drawing on data for the 2008-09 school year, researchers found that 44.7 percent of elementary students were able to buy beverages not allowed by the guidelines. Under a federal law passed in 2010, the Agriculture Department can now regulate beverage sales throughout schools.
A version of this article appeared in the April 06, 2011 edition of Education Week as Beverages at School