Issue Brief

No. 835

Got Junk? The Federal Role in Regulating “Competitive” Foods
December 11, 2009


Eileen Salinsky, Consultant


A wide variety of food and beverage items are available in schools in addition to the school meals provided through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. A long-standing source of controversy, the need for stronger federal restrictions on foods that compete with school meals is again under debate. This issue brief examines the availability and consumption of competitive foods, explores the regulation of these foods at the federal level, considers trends in state and local restrictions, and summarizes perceived barriers to improving the nutritional quality of competitive food options.

Related Materials

For additional information on the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, see the companion paper, "No Free Lunch? Current Challenges Facing the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs" (Background Paper No. 72, December 11, 2009).

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