Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

CDC: Food Getting Healthier at Schools

Report Shows Less Junk Food Now Available, but Improvements Still Needed
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 19, 2007 -- U.S. schools have cut back on sales of high-fat and high-sugar foods to students since 2000, though many continue to allow unhealthy items during the school day, concludes a government report released Friday.

The study shows that schools across the country are allowing less junk food in vending machines, school stores, and a la carte counters. More schools have also put healthier school lunch practices into place.

But overall results were mixed, say researchers from the CDC, which released the study. The report also shows that junk food and sugary drinks remain widespread in U.S. schools and that few schools provide daily physical education classes.

The report shows that the percentage of schools selling cookies, chips, and other junk food to kids dropped between 2000 and 2006. Bottled water sales increased, as did policies banning smoking at school events.

"These are meaningful changes in large numbers of schools," says Howell Wechsler, director of the CDC's adolescent and school health division.

For example, the report shows that the percentage of schools selling french fries dropped by half -- to 19% by 2006.

"That means that approximately 25,000 schools have stopped serving potatoes," Wechsler says.

Fewer High-Sugar Drinks

Schools are also selling fewer high-sugar, high-calorie drinks than they did in 2000. Still, high-sugar drinks remained available in more than three-quarters of high schools, half of middle schools, and more than one in six elementary schools, the report shows.

"The overall picture of what food and beverages are available in schools remains troubling," Wechsler says.

Congress is debating new regulations that would tighten health standards for school lunches and restrict school vending machines to selling healthier snacks to kids.

Sarah Jerome, president of the American Association of School Administrators, a group representing school superintendents, says the organization has no official position on the legislation.

But she says that "the urgings of law" could help speed up progress toward healthier food in U.S. schools.

More school districts now have rules requiring physical education for students, but many do not teach it regularly to all kids, the report states. More than one-fifth of all schools still don't require all students to take physical education.

The report also shows that 68% of elementary schools have daily recess for all students.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration