• sales of brand-name fast foods;

  • awards to schools of cash or equipment in exchange for proofs of purchase of foods or beverages;

  • coupons, labels, or receipts from students;

  • fund-raising activities by parents and students that involve the sale of foods and beverages;

  • food and beverage advertising in schools, on athletic fields, on buses, and on school equipment and books;

  • food and beverage advertising in school publications, on television programs shown at school, and on computers;

  • free food and beverage samples;

  • educational materials, contests, and grants provided by food and beverage corporations; and

  • market research conducted by food and beverage firms at school, concerning student food and beverage preferences.

Many observers have raised concerns about the extent of food and beverage marketing in schools and the susceptibility of students to its influence. Despite this, local, state, or national regulation or voluntary controls on this kind of marketing in schools are not widespread (IOM, 2006). Because the selling of various products in school is itself a form of marketing, the growing restrictions on competitive foods and beverages in schools, as documented in Chapter 4, may be resulting in less marketing overall.


Schools vary substantially in many different ways, including physical layout, class and activity scheduling, the availability of various programs, and levels of overall maintenance. Many of these factors have an influence on how the use of competitive foods and beverages has evolved in the schools and on the difficulty of creating standards for such foods and beverages. Noted below are the most important of these interactions.

Lack of Space

Some schools lack the physical capacity to serve all of their students in the available cafeteria space during times generally regarded as appropriate for lunch. As a result, schools have sometimes resorted to beginning the lunch period much earlier than most students might want. This potentially diminishes the attractiveness of participating in the NSLP (and thereby increases the relative appeal of competitive foods and beverages when students are hungry). Other consequences of having inadequate cafeteria space

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