Does Competitive Food and Beverage Legislation Hurt Meal Participation or Revenues in high Schools?


Gail Woodward-Lopez, Janice Kao, Lisa Craypo, Patricia Crawford, Sarah Samuels, Tasha Peart


AB 12, California, competitive food, high school, prospective study, SB 965, school food, school food policies, school meal participation


Childhood Obesity

Year Published:


Policy Summary

There has previously been an incredibly high prevalence of competitive foods at middle and especially high schools. This paper follows 56 Californian high schools before a competitive food and beverage policy was passed and through implementation to determine the effect of the legislation on the school meal participation and revenue at the schools. The results have important policy implications because it was found that limiting competitive foods and beverages in schools due to the policy changes led to a significant increase in school meal revenues, participation (in breakfast and lunch), and nutrition standards. The findings that competitive food and beverage policy did not cause these districts to lose school meal revenue should be considered in future school food policymaking.

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