Why Junk Food at School Isn't Making Kids Fat

Junk food in middle school does not lead to weight gain in children.

A study followed nearly 20,000 students from kindergarten through the eighth grade in 1,000 public and private schools. The researchers examined the children’s weight and found that in the eighth grade, 35.5 percent of kids in schools with junk food were overweight while 34.8 percent of those in schools without it were overweight – a statistically insignificant increase.

In other words, kids with access to junk food at school were no heavier than those without.

It’s not that middle schoolers aren’t eating junk food; indeed they are, just like most Americans. It’s that most of the junk food they’re eating is not coming through the schools.

“Schools only represent a small portion of children’s food environment,” said Jennifer Van Hook, a Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study.

The same may not hold true for high school students, who are more independent and have more disposable income (and therefore more control over what they eat).

For the full story, click here.

By BENJAMIN RADFORD, Discovery News
Jan. 22, 2012

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