New School Beverage Study Shows Need for Child Nutrition Bill

Statement of CSPI Director of Nutrition Policy Margo G. Wootan

November 1, 2010

A new study shows that unhealthy beverages were still in reach for almost half of all elementary students in the 2008-2009 school year. While the volume of sugar drinks sold in elementary schools is much lower than in high schools, unhealthy beveragesóand foodsódon't belong in any schools.

Photo Credit: Jane Welna, CSPI
These vending machines in Takoma Park Elementary School in Maryland
offer students sugary soft drinks and junk food. Congress needs to pass the
child nutrition bill soon to get vending machines like these out of schools.

Congress has the chance to change this by passing the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act when it returns for the lame duck session. That bipartisan bill passed the Senate unanimously in August and includes a provision to get junk food and soda out of schools.

Unlike a decade ago, improving school foods is no longer controversial. The child nutrition bill has the support of not only public health organizations, but also school groups and food and beverage companies, including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Given the sky-high rates of childhood obesity, Congress needs to support parents and protect kids by passing the child nutrition bill to finally get sugary drinks and junk food out of all schools.


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