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No Correlation Found Between Availability Of Junk Food In Schools And Obesity Rates

January 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers who analyzed data collected between 1998 and 2007 among school children found no correlation between overweight or obesity and the availability of junk food in schools. About 60 percent of fifth graders and 86 percent of eighth graders attended schools that sold junk food such as candy, soda, chips, etc. But despite the big increase in the percentage of students who attended schools that sold junk food between fifth and eighth grades, there was no rise in the percentage of students who were overweight or obese. In fact, the U.S. researchers said, despite the increased availability of junk food, the percentage of students who were overweight or obese actually dropped from fifth grade to eighth grade, from 39.1 percent to 35.4 percent.
J. Van Hook et al., "Competitive Food Sales in Schools and Childhood Obesity: A Longitudinal Study", Sociology of Education, January 16, 2012, © American Sociological Association
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