This one is a bit of a no-brainer. A new study, reported in Pediatrics and relayed to us by food-policy guru Marion Nestle, proves that kids who aren't exposed to junkfood in schools are less likely to gain weight. This reinforces the need for strict standards on what can be sold in school cafeterias. The authors of the study explain:
"Experts argue that education will not suffice without changing the contemporary ‘obesogenic’ environment in which adolescents have countless sources of high-caloric-density, low-nutrient-density foods and beverages. Schools have become a source of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), candy, and other foods and beverages of minimal nutritional value."
Obesity is not just about present access, it is also about historical access -- if kids have previously been exposed to high levels of fattening and unhealthy food, they are more likely to return to it later in life. Moreover, the USDA and the White House both have the power to regulate the food consumed in schools. But since it is an election year, expecting any politician to increase regulations on what we eat, when food companies are tremendous contributors to PACs and the role of government is a central issue, is just not realistic.
Suprise! Kids Who Don'e Eat Junk Foods in School Don't Gain as Much Weight from Food Politics