Half of kids in public and private schools have access to vending machines, candy bars, and in-school stores, according to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
There are currently no federal regulations on foods and beverages sold outside of school meals. So while selling soda, gum and some candies in the cafeteria during lunchtime is prohibited, many schools have unhealthy foods such as these available during lunchtime at other locations and the study found that many students were easily able to buy junk food, whereas healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables were not as readily available. Encouragingly, though, two-thirds of students at schools with more than one food spot were found to have the option of purchasing healthy food. In January, the USDA announced plans to make school lunches healthier.