School Environments

If schools and parents are to remain the strongest allies working to promote and advance the interests of American children and youth, the school environment must be fully devoted to preparing students for healthful lifelong dietary patterns.

Recommendation 7: State and local educational authorities, with support from parents, health authorities, and other stakeholders, should educate about and promote healthful diets for children and youth in all aspects of the school environment (e.g., commercial sponsorships, meals and snacks, curriculum).

To implement this recommendation, companies should

  • Develop and implement nutrition standards for competitive foods and beverages sold or served in the school environment.

  • Adopt policies and best practices that promote the availability and marketing of foods and beverages that support healthful diets.

  • Provide visible leadership in this effort by public and civic leaders at all levels such as the National Governors Association, the state and local Boards of Education, and the National Parent Teacher Association, as well as trade associations representing private-sector businesses such as distributors, bottlers, and vending machine companies that directly interface with the school administration.

Public Policy

A first obligation of public policy is to protect the vulnerable and a second is to create the conditions for a desirable future. Both call for the careful use of policy initiatives to foster healthy prospects for children and youth.

Recommendation 8: Government at all levels should marshal the full range of public policy levers to foster the development and promotion of healthful diets for children and youth.

To implement this recommendation

  • Government should consider incentives (e.g., recognition, performance awards, tax incentives) that encourage and reward food, beverage, and restaurant companies that develop, provide, and promote healthier foods and beverages for children and youth in settings where they typically consume them (e.g., restaurants, schools, amusement parks, sports venues, movie theaters, malls, and airports).

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