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New Economic Finding Supports Interventions that Get Healthier Foods in Schools

The Community Guide has conducted a systematic review of the economic evidence for an effective intervention to increase the availability of healthier foods and beverages in schools. The evidence shows meal interventions and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to be cost effective.

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The systematic review of economic evidence for meal interventions and fruit and vegetable snack interventions included seven studies (four from the United States, one from Norway, one from the Netherlands, and one from Taiwan). All monetary values for both systematic reviews are reported in 2016 U.S. dollars.

Obesity now affects 1 in 6 children and adolescents in the United States (CDC, 2017). Children who have obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity (CDC, 2017), putting them at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma.

Children who have obesity are more likely to have the following (CDC, 2016):

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes
  • Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea
  • Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort
  • Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn)

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