Fewer School Districts Promote Junk Food, Soda

Fewer school districts are promoting junk food and soda, federal health officials say.

(AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher)

ATLANTA (August 26, 2013)—Federal health officials say they've seen a big shift in how many school districts take money from soda companies and ban junk food from vending machines.

A new survey finds that 44 percent of school districts banned junk food from vending machines last year, up from 30 percent in 2006.

The survey also found a decrease in the number that took a cut of soft drink sales, received donations from soda companies, or allowed soda company advertising.

"Good news for students and parents – more students have access to healthy food, better physical fitness activities through initiatives such as ‘Let’s Move,’ and campuses that are completely tobacco free,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden.

About 17 percent of U.S. children are overweight or obese, a percentage that's been holding steady for years.

Experts say diet and exercise at home are at least as important as what happens in school.

The findings come from a detailed government survey last year of more than 800 U.S. school districts.

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