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Increase of Fast Food in School

Fast Food in Schools

Growth of Fast Food in California Schools

Surveys were returned by 171 school districts that represent 345 high schools. Responding districts serve 16 percent of California’s 1.7 million public students

At 71 percent of the school districts surveyed, a la cart items, including pizza, hamburgers, submarine sandwiches, French fries, chips, cookies, yogurt, bagels, ice cream, and sodas, accounted for up to 70 percent of all food sales at the school.

Brand-name products proliferate: more than half the schools either carry Taco Bell, Subway, Dominos, Pizza Hut, or other branded foods.

Many school districts also sell healthier a la carte items. More than half offer fruit, yogurt, bagels, and packaged salads.

A la carte items are primarily sold from freestanding vending machines, fast food carts, and snack bars. Of the high schools that sell a la carte items, more than half sell them in the cafeteria.

Over the past ten years, fast foods have become a staple on high school campuses. Consideration must be given to the impact these foods have on the diets of teens now and the life-long eating habits they develop.

Food service directors are hard pressed to find a balance between providing adolescents with healthy food choices that meet their nutritional needs, satisfying their student customers, and running a financially stable business.

SOURCE: 2000 California High School Fast Food Survey

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