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Eliminating Soda from School Diets Does Not Affect Overall Consumption


Philadelphia, PA – With childhood obesity increasing, school administrators and public health officials are reducing availability of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in schools. In a study published in the November/December 2008 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers found that reduction or elimination of SSB from school menus has little effect on total consumption by adolescents.

Working with four schools in Maine that reduced SSB availability for one school year (intervention schools) and three other schools that took no actions (control schools), the authors followed 456 students from 6 counties in southern and central Maine over two school years. Consumption of SSB decreased in all students, regardless of whether they attended an intervention or control school.

Writing in the article, Janet E. Whatley Blum, states, “This study suggests that successful reduction of the availability of SSB can occur in public high schools. However, these data suggest the effect of reduced availability of school SSB on consumption of SSB by high school students may be limited.” Commenting on the lack of an effect, she continues, “A better understanding of beverage consumption patterns may be needed to determine the efficacy of school food policies on those youth susceptible to obesity"

The article is “Reduced Availability of Sugar-sweetened Beverages and Diet Soda Has a Limited Impact on Beverage Consumption Patterns in Maine High School Youth” by Janet E. Whatley Blum, ScD; Anne-Marie Davee, MS, RD; Christina M. Beaudoin, PhD; Paul L. Jenkins, PhD; Lori A. Kaley, MS, MSB; and Debra A. Wigand, MEd, CHES. It appears in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 40, Issue 6 (November/December 2008).

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Full text of the article is available upon request; contact Megan Curran at +1 215 239 3666 or to obtain copies. To schedule an interview with the lead author please contact Janet E. Whatley Blum at or 207 780 4175.

About the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB), the official journal of the Society for Nutrition Education (SNE), is a refereed, scientific periodical that serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in nutrition education and dietary/physical activity behaviors. The purpose of JNEB is to document and disseminate original research, emerging issues and practices relevant to nutrition education and behavior worldwide and to promote healthy, sustainable food choices. It supports the society’s efforts to disseminate innovative nutrition education strategies; and communicate information on food, nutrition and health issues to students, professionals, policy makers, targeted audiences and the public.

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior features articles that provide new insights and useful findings related to nutrition education research, practice and policy. The content areas of JNEB reflect the diverse interests of health, nutrition, education, Cooperative Extension and other professionals working in areas related to nutrition education and behavior. As the Society’s official journal, JNEB also includes occasional policy statements, issue perspectives, and member communications.

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