(September 16, 2010)—The deadline to comply with a new state school nutrition law is still two years away, but many districts south of Boston are already well into the campaign to kick junk food to the curb and offer healthier food choices during the school day.
The school nutrition bill signed by Governor Deval Patrick earlier this year is meant to stem the rise of youth obesity, which now affects one in five American children. The legislation bans high-calorie and high-salt foods, sugary drinks, and even the use of deep fryers on school grounds.
It apparently comes not a moment too soon, judging by the results of an obesity study released by the state Department of Public Health last week involving students tested in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 in 80 Massachusetts school districts. The study shows many districts, including a number south of Boston, exceeding the state average of 34 percent of students who are overweight and/or obese.