Managing sales of beverages in schools to preserve profits and improve children’s nutrition intake in 15 mississippi schools.
Sommaire de l'article
School environments that provide consistent and reliable nutrition information promote the development of healthful eating in children. High-energy, nutrient-poor beverages offered for sale to children during the school day compete with healthful choices. The primary objective of this prospective, quasiexperimental study was to encourage children to choose more healthful beverages during the school day without adversely affecting the profits realized from vending sales. Fifteen of 18 schools completed voluntary changes to beverage sales practices during the school day between August 2005 and May 2006. Twelve of 15 schools reported increased profits from the previous year (2004-2005) while offering more healthful beverage choices at discounted prices. Units of carbonated soft drinks sold declined when sports drinks, 100% fruit juice, and water were made available in their place. Passive marketing in the form of vending machine fronts, attractive pricing with a nominal 10% to 25% discount, and changing the types and proportions of beverages offered encouraged children to make more healthful choices. Local school administrators were receptive to making changes to beverage sales when local needs were incorporated into the study design. Profit information from this study informed state legislators and the Mississippi State Board of Education in the development and adoption of statewide snack and beverage vending guidelines. Registered dietitians serve as advocates to foster these collaborative efforts, inform key decision makers, and work in their local communities to develop and promote healthful practices in K-12 school settings.