Snacks sold in vending machines at schools may soon be getting healthier under the government's ongoing plan to raise a healthier generation. Now, a new study provides what experts are calling the first evidence that laws that curb the sales of junk food and sweetened drinks at school may play a role in slowing childhood obesity.
But even the researchers behind the study acknowledged that critics' cries of a "nanny state" and opposition by the snacking industry and schools in need of food processors' cash mean such laws to curb vending machine sales are no slam-dunk.
But if the laws have even a tiny effect, "What are the downsides of improving the food environment for children today?" asked Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. "You can't get much worse than it already is."