Healthy Eating Strategy #6: Reduce Availability of Less Healthy Foods and Beverages

Our Healthier Communities Initiatives are built on the concept that local communities can work together to give all community members healthy choices and support the pursuit of healthy lifestyles.  More than 160 Ys are working in collaboration with community leaders to make changes in policies and the physical surroundings in those communities so that healthy living is within reach for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.




Healthy Eating Strategy #6: Reduce Availability of Less Healthy Foods and Beverages

Removing unhealthy items from schools increases the likelihood that children will consume healthier beverages and foods.

 

Research has shown that removing unhealthy items from schools increases the likelihood that children will consume healthier beverages and foods. An increasing number of schools have adopted nutrition guidelines for competitive foods. Studies show that school food policies that restrict the sale of unhealthy foods and beverages lead to decreased availability of unhealthy food and beverage items and increased availability of healthy options. In turn, this change can result in healthier snack, food, and beverage consumption and can be effective in reducing childhood obesity. A study predicted an 18 percent reduction in prevalence of overweight or obesity in schools that prohibit the sale of unhealthy food during school meals.




References

  1. Dority, B.D., McGarvey, M.G., & Kennedy, P.F. (2010). Marketing foods and beverages in schools: The effect of school food policy on students’ overweight measures. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 29(2), 204–218.
  2. Institute of Medicine. (2007). Nutrition standards for foods in schools: Leading the way toward healthier youth. http://www.iom.edu/cms/3788/30181/42502.aspx.
  3. Patel, A., & Cabana, M. (2010). Encouraging healthy beverage intake in child care and school settings. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. Dec;22(6):779–84.
  4. Ritenbaugh, C., Teufel-Shone, N.I., Aickin, M.G., Joe, J.R., Poirier, S., Dillingham, D.C., Johnson, D., Henning, S., Cole, S.M., & Cockerham, D. (2003). A lifestyle intervention improves plasma insulin levels among Native American high school youth. Preventive Medicine, 36 (3), 309–319.
  5. Schwartz, M., Novak, S., & Fiore, S. (2009). The impact of removing snacks of low nutritional value from middle schools. Health Education & Behavior, 36(6), 999–1011.

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