The Competitive Food Conundrum: Can Government Regulations Improve School Food?
49 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2007
Increasing concerns over children's health have focused the nation's attention on what children are eating, especially in school. Lawmakers and advocates have cause to be optimistic that the intense focus on children's health and school nutrition will create of wave of competitive food reforms; previous determined efforts met with a modicum of success. Essentially, regulation of competitive foods was rolled back to its 1970 status, with the addition of a new narrow category of Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV). The burgeoning junk food and soda sales that followed inexorably led to worsening student health. Soda-ban organizers, aware of the financial arguments that ultimately jettisoned previous competitive food restrictions, insisted this time that health issues be paramount and considered apart from financial ones and described the need to break the pernicious link between unhealthy products and supplemental funding for schools. Studies have increasingly connected competitive foods in general, and soft drink consumption in particular, to weight gain and nutritional deficits. There must be a national conversation about how best to ensure children's health, a conversation that embraces not only the radical improvement of school food, but includes all unhealthy societal influences that have proven detrimental to children's nutritional and developmental well-being.
Keywords: school food, nutrition, administrative law
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