Food Nanny Science: Fewer cupcakes observed at schools with cupcake bans

The media release is below.

Nearly 1 in 3 American children are overweight or obese, but sugary sweets are often on the menu at elementary school classroom parties.

But schools with a district policy or state law discouraging sugary foods and beverages were 2.5 times more likely to restrict those foods at parties than were schools with no such policy or law, according to a new study published online in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago examined the linkages among state laws, district, and school-level policies for classroom birthday and holiday parties. More than 1,200 elementary schools in 47 states responded to surveys during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years.

The researchers collected corresponding district policies and state laws and examined whether they addressed classroom parties. When policies addressed parties, most were written as recommendations, not as outright restrictions. Forty-nine percent of schools were located in districts recommending limits on sweets, and 18.5 percent of schools were subject to recommendations at both the district and state levels.

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5 thoughts on “Food Nanny Science: Fewer cupcakes observed at schools with cupcake bans”

  1. “When cupcakes are outlawed, only outlaws will have cupcakes!”
    Seriously, unreasonable restrictions and bans, especially of things people desire, create a moral conundrum for the affected individuals: either you give up something you want, or you keep what you want at the peril of becoming criminalized. [i.e. Prohibition]
    Creative individuals will *always* be able to find a way around such a ban, such as the oranges spiked with vodka that brown-bagging high school students brought for lunch back in the day.
    The effect is cumulative. The more that relatively harmless material becomes contraband, the less credibility people will lend to the bans, and the more comfortable they become as scofflaws.
    When the government finds itself frequently writing laws that nobody heeds, it has become superfluous, and when people truly need the services provided by an effective government, they will turn elsewhere – as has already occurred in Mexico, Sicily, etc.

  2. Seriously? This has is almost as bad as saying
    “The first rule of the tautology club is the first rule of the tautology club”, which would advance our knowledge of earth only slightly less.

  3. I note that they *don’t* claim that this has had any effect on students’ weight. You’d think they would mention that unless their policies do nothing toward that goal.

  4. I think I heard that the famous military commander, Captain Obvious, was responsible for a large part of the study.

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