Sad state of school snacks

Did you know many kids consume up to half of their calories at schools?

Also, half of secondary school students consume at least one snack food a day at school, an average of 273 to 336 calories per day.

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently analyzed data on the types of snack foods and beverages sold in secondary schools’ vending machines, stores and snack bars.

They compiled the findings in the report, “Out of Balance: A Look at Snack Foods in Secondary Schools across the States.”

The report had some interesting findings.

For example, in Washington, about 36 percent of secondary schools allow students to purchase fruits (not fruit juices) as snacks and only 25 percent allow students to purchase non-fried vegetables.

Both state rates are above the national medians.

Take those numbers in contrast with these:

-About 40 percent of Washington secondary schools sell cookies, crackers, pastries and salty snacks.

-About 27 percent sell chocolate candy.

-About 36 percent sell other types of candy.

-And about 38 percent sell soda pop or fruit drinks.

All of those rates are above the national medians, too.

One state among the worst offenders? Utah.

In Utah, 70 percent of schools sell cookies, crackers, cakes and pastries; 69 percent sell salty snacks; 75 percent sell chocolate candy; 74 percent sell other types of candy; and 54 percent sell soda pop.

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