Stopping Sales of Unhealthy Snacks in Schools

July 28, 2009

By Amanda Chablani, HSC policy intern

For those of us who care about school health, watching Washington gear up for the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act has been very exciting – and has been keeping us very busy!   

We’re keeping an eye on the very comprehensive Hunger Free Schools Act and on the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act, which is now being discussed in both the House and Senate committees.

HSC’s own Jean Saunders blogged about the Senate’s incarnation of this bill back in March, explaining how it would address the nutritional value of food sold in vending machines, school stores, and cafeteria a la carte lines. As we all know, kids aren’t just eating school meals at school — they’re also subject to the heavy marketing of foods sold outside the meal program, a good deal of which has little nutritional value.
Deirdre Imus, a children's health advocate and founder of the Deirdre Imus Center for Pediatric Oncology, explained the vital need for this legislation at Huffington Post recently:


Our schools are in a unique position to introduce, model and emphasize the value of healthy eating habits. In the structured school environment, where children spend most of their day, impressionable students, at an early age, can be taught good nutritional habits that could have a profound influence on their over-all well being and benefit them throughout their lives. Unfortunately, our school systems have not set the kind of example one would expect . . .

We couldn’t agree more, and we know that school leaders need the support that this type of legislation can provide in their efforts to make schools healthy places for kids to learn and to develop lifelong healthy eating habits. We support these bills and are looking to our legislators to champion a strong, well-funded reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. To learn more and get involved, visit our Action Center.