Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

New Guidelines Say No To Unhealthy Marketing In Schools

Unhealthy foods are already being taken out of school lunches. Next up is the removal of unhealthy food marketing in schools.

school scoreboard with Coca-Cola

Photo: buschap (Flickr)

Under the new guidelines, the Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders wouldn't need to immediately tear down the Coca-Cola advertisement, but the school must retire the brand when it purchases a new board.

Overhauling cafeteria lunches was the first step to making schools healthier for children. Soon, schools will also be free of junk food marketing.

Reinforcing Healthy Messages

On Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Tom Vilsack announced new school wellness guidelines that would ensure marketing to children at schools would not conflict with the healthier lunches and snacks provided.

As part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, sugary, salty, fatty foods formerly on lunch trays and available in vending machines have been replaced with more fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

To eliminate conflicting messages about diet, it stands to reason that school vending machines shouldn’t be branded by Pepsi, and fast food shouldn’t be marketed to children within school walls.

Proposed rules would ban cups, posters and menu boards from advertising food that doesn’t meet health standards, like Coca-Cola or McDonald’s. After-school activities, however, will not be affected.

Guidelines And Combating Hunger

The USDA has given schools a grace period, so major construction—like replacing a scoreboard branded with Coca-Cola—wouldn’t need to be done immediately. But when the scoreboard is replaced, it must meet the new requirements.

Schools can still collaborate with fast food restaurants on fundraisers, whereby part of the dining proceeds go to the school, but the marketing of such events must be done off campus and clearly target adults.

Schools are also allowed to weigh in on incentives like Pizza Hut’s Book It! program, where children are given vouchers for pizza in exchange for reading.

Finally, the announcement included news that 22,000 schools across the country serving primarily low-income students will offer free breakfast starting July 1.

Read More:

  • New Rules Would Curb How Kids Are Sold Junk Food At School (NPR)
  • Rules would limit marketing of unhealthy foods in schools (CBS News)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media