Strict School Snack Laws Linked to Healthy Weight A study published in Pediatrics indicates that strict laws regulating the presence of healthful foods in schools may be connected to healthier weight in children. The study explored the effect of strict laws that regulate so called “competitive” foods sold outside of the regular meal program -- foods and drinks in vending machines, school snack bars, etc.
Researchers tracked the weight of 6,300 students from 5th to 8th grade, monitoring any changes that occurred. Once the data was collected, the team compared the results in terms of the laws in each child’s home state. They ranked the competitive food laws as either strict, weak, or nonexistent. Strict laws addressed specifics about what was and was not healthful, while weak laws were quite general and often called for nonspecific measures to be taken.
The children in states with strict laws governing the sale of competitive foods gained less weight in that three-year period than children in states with weak to no competitive food laws. Furthermore, the study found that kids who were obese at the start of the study were more likely to reach a healthy weight by the end of the study -- if they lived in states with strict laws about what can and cannot be sold outside of the school meal program.
According to Daniel Taber, one of the authors of the study, “Competitive-food laws can have an effect on obesity rates if the laws are specific, required and consistent.”
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.