KCUR News
10:11 am
Tue October 6, 2009

Region Lags Behind In School Nutrition Improvements

Kansas City, MO – A new report from the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, finds that more and more communities across the country are reducing the availability of junk food in public middle and high schools.

Kansas and Missouri are part of that trend, but their progress is much less than most other states. Both are also ranked in the bottom quartile for their general school nutrition status.

Dr. Howell Wexler is in charge of the CDC's division of adolescent and school health. He says improvements in school food options are largely due to whether states have standards dictating what types of food and beverages are allowed in schools.

"It's clear that states that are doing best are those that have passed standards and have a strong commit to healthy school environments," Wexler said. "And those that are not doing as well have not passed those policies."

Dr. Wexler says about half of U.S. states currently have such standards, but that Kansas and Missouri don't.

The new CDC report is based on data from the school health surveys that states submit every other year.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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