The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Report: Schools need to offer healthier snacks

Most secondary schools do not sell fruits and vegetables in school stores, snack bars, or vending machines, according to a report released today by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a joint initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Research shows that the consumption of 110 to 165 calories above recommended amounts per day — roughly the difference between an apple and a bag of chips — may be responsible for rising rates of childhood obesity,” said Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. “Because many students consume as many as half of their daily calories at school, what children eat during the school day is a critical issue if we want to reverse obesity rates.”

The report notes that while public schools implemented healthier meals this fall under the Agriculture Department’s revised meal standards, the regulations did not cover snack foods and beverages. The USDA is posed to issue policies requiring that foods and beverages sold outside of the federal school meals program meet minimum nutrition standards, the report says.