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Soc Sci Med. 2011 Nov;73(9):1332-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Does the sale of sweetened beverages at school affect children's weight?

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  • 1Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


In response to the increase in children's weight in recent decades, many states, school districts, and schools in the United States have limited or eliminated the sale of sweetened beverages at school. These policies are promoted for their potential to reduce childhood overweight and obesity, but their effectiveness has not been evaluated. Using a large nationally representative longitudinal dataset, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten (ECLS-K), this study explores the relationship between children's access to sweetened beverages at school in 5th and 8th grade, their purchases and total consumption of these beverages, and their weight. We find almost no evidence that availability of sweetened beverages for sale at school leads to heavier weight or greater risk of overweight or obesity among children. We also find limited evidence that availability of sweetened beverages for sale at school leads to higher total consumption of these beverages.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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