Pew released a report about the sale of snack foods in public schools across the country. It’s based on CDC data and ranks the states on the degree to which they limited the availability of full-fat baked goods, salty snacks, chocolate and other types of candy in secondary schools, as well as the degree to which they offered fruits and vegetables in snack food venues, like school stores, snack bars, and vending machines.
(Pew also has an infographic, available at the right, showing the difference in calories between healthy and less-healthy snack foods.)
- Nationally, the availability of snack foods in secondary schools varies tremendously from state to state.
- Under this patchwork of policies, the majority of our nation’s children live in states where less-healthy snack food choices are readily available.
- Overall, the availability of healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables is limited
- When states don’t differentiate between more- and less-healthy snacks, the overall snack food environment suffers.
- While many secondary schools reduced the availability of less-healthy snack foods between 2002 and 2008,17 progress has since stalled.
And a few recommendations:
- USDA should establish nutrition standards for all snack foods sold regularly on school grounds outside of the school meal programs.
- USDA should adopt policies and practices that ensure effective implementation of the standards.
Now to the stats for Georgia. These numbers represent the percentage of secondary schools that sell:
- Fruits — Georgia is No. 33 at 25.1 percent, median is 28.2 percent
- Non-fried vegetables — Georgia is No. 30 at 15.5 percent, median is 18.9
- Cookies, crackers, cakes, pastries, or other baked goods — Georgia is No. 48 and 51 percent, median is 32.3 percent
- Salty snacks — Georgia is No. 49 at 50.5 percent, median is 26.8 percent
- Chocolate candy — Georgia is No. 47 at 44.1 percent, median is 19.9 percent
- Other kinds of candy — Georgia is No. 48 at 51.8 percent, median is 24.9 percent
- Soda pop or fruit drinks — Georgia is No. 42 at 42.5 percent, median is 28.9 percent