fbpx Skip to content


Stricter Nutrition Standards Get a Passing Grade

Study links better school nutrition policies with lower obesity risk.

School nutrition standards

Federal policies that strengthened nutritional standards for meals and beverages served at schools—by reducing sugar and increasing whole grains, for example—appear to have been effective in reducing obesity among children, especially those living in poverty. This is according to an investigation led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

As reported in Health Affairs, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act implemented in 2012–2013 lowered the risk of obesity by 47% in children ages 10–17 from low-income families. That translates to about a half-million fewer young people with obesity.

Even among children, obesity can raise the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and mental health problems. Since students who are raised in families with lower socioeconomic status rely more heavily on school meals, it stands to reason that they would benefit the most from government policies designed to strengthen nutrition requirements.

See also: Fresh Food and Vegetables Appear in Schools


Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up tp date with our latest news and products.