Marketing foods and beverages in schools: The effect of school food policy on students' overweight measures

Bree L. Dority, Mary G. McGarvey, Patricia F. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Beginning with the 2006-2007 academic year, the U.S. government required that all federally funded schools have local wellness policies to promote healthful living and reduce obesity among their students; however, little evidence exists on which school food policies are effective. This article finds evidence that prohibiting à la carte junk food sales during meals reduces the likelihood that students will be overweight or obese by 18 percentage points. The data are merged student-parent-school survey responses collected from a small sample of schools in one Great Plains state. The estimation controls for students' activity levels, genetics, and socioeconomic factors; parents' activity levels and attitudes; and the overall mix of school marketing policies that promote healthful eating and drinking habits. The results indicate that banning à Ia carte junk food sales is a potentially effective policy to reduce the likelihood of students being overweight and obese.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-218
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Health
  • Obesity
  • School administration
  • School food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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