We’re excited to share with you some great new tools from ChangeLab Solutions to stop marketers from targeting kids in schools. We hope you’ll use them to encourage your school district to adopt policies that give students the protections they deserve!
Starting next school year, under U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations, local education agencies or school districts must have in place a “local school wellness policy” to create a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn. Under the baseline policy, all foods and beverages sold to students must meet USDA nutrition standards, and products that don’t meet those standards can’t be marketed in schools. This is a great start, but leaves a lot of wiggle room for food companies to take advantage of kids.
Corporations are anxious to market in schools—when kids are captive, young, and impressionable—to create brand loyalty for life.Kids in school can’t “change the channel,” and anything advertised in a school comes with the powerful endorsement of the school or faculty. No products should be marketed in these spaces.
One thing we love about the ChangeLab resources is they present good, better, and best options for schools. The best option, of course, is no food marketing of any type on school grounds or at school events. If your local education agency or school district is not willing to prohibit ALL marketing, ChangeLab offers a model policy that would close two loopholes that let corporations sneak junk food marketing onto campus: “lookalike snacks,” or special school versions of junk food products like Doritos, Cheetos, and Pop Tarts, reformulated to meet nutrition guidelines and build brand loyalty among students; and after-school junk food fundraisers like McTeacher’s Nights that prey on tight school budgets.
The ChangeLab tools include:
- Food and Beverage Marketing in School Wellness Policies, model policy language for limiting unhealthy marketing to students.
- Restricting Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools, a fact sheet that outlines policy options for districts that want to go beyond the minimum requirements and address all in-school food marketing.
Share these resources with your district, and help keep schools free of corporate advertising!