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State policies targeting junk food in schools: racial/ethnic differences in the effect of policy change on soda consumption.
Taber DR, Stevens J, Evenson KR, Ward DS, Poole C, Maciejewski ML, Murray DM, Brownson RC. State policies targeting junk food in schools: racial/ethnic differences in the effect of policy change on soda consumption. American journal of public health. 2011 Sep 1; 101(9):1769-75.
We estimated the association between state policy changes and adolescent soda consumption and body mass index (BMI) percentile, overall and by race/ethnicity.
We obtained data on whether states required or recommended that schools prohibit junk food in vending machines, snack bars, concession stands, and parties from the 2000 and 2006 School Health Policies and Programs Study. We used linear mixed models to estimate the association between 2000-2006 policy changes and 2007 soda consumption and BMI percentile, as reported by 90 730 students in 33 states and the District of Columbia in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and to test for racial/ethnic differences in the associations.
Policy changes targeting concession stands were associated with 0.09 fewer servings of soda per day among students (95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.17, -0.01); the association was more pronounced among non-Hispanic Blacks (0.19 fewer servings per day). Policy changes targeting parties were associated with 0.07 fewer servings per day (95% CI = -0.13, 0.00). Policy changes were not associated with BMI percentile in any group.
State policies targeting junk food in schools may reduce racial/ethnic disparities in adolescent soda consumption, but their impact appears to be too weak to reduce adolescent BMI percentile.