Study: Stronger state laws could lead to less student weight gain

August 13, 2012

Scott Kanowsky

A new study says stronger state laws could help prevent childhood obesity. University of Illinois at Chicago researchers analyzed data on more than 6 thousand American kids over three years. They found students gained less weight in states with specific laws setting nutritional standards for foods in schools.

Daniel Taber is the lead author of the study. He says he’s seeing more states cracking down on snack foods in schools.

“During this time period, when this study took place, we were using data that were collected between 2004 and 2007. And during that time period, a large number of states were passing stronger laws to regulate competitive foods, because a lot of states recognized what a problem there is," Taber said.

In response to the study, the American Beverage Association pointed to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that shows children consume more sugar at home than at school. But the American Beverage Association says it supports establishing national nutrition standards.

The study will be published in the journal Pediatrics in September.