Concerned about Snacks and Vending Machines at School?
The recent USDA changes for school meals do not include snacks or other “competitive foods” as they are called. This Washington Post article highlights the problem of unhealthy foods widely available at schools outside of the lunch program.
In Wake County, more than 43 percent of children aged 5-11 in are overweight or obese, and more than one-third of North Carolina children and youth age 10-17 are overweight or obese. HB 503 aims to put better nutrition guidelines in place for foods sold outside the lunch and breakfast programs, such as competitive foods and beverages including vending, school stores, fundraisers and other options available to students during the school day. This bill would have a positive impact on these alarming statistics.
A nationally representative study revealed that children consume up to 47% of their daily calories from meals and snacks at school. Research shows that limiting children’s access to low-nutrient, high calorie foods at school can help control their weight.
Parents and citizens concerned about the foods available beyond the school lunch program may contact their Senate representative to support HB 503. Talking points on HB 503 are available here from the NC Alliance for Health to help you when you call or email your representative. If you’re concerned about these foods, be an advocate!