Connecticut Banning Junk Food from Schools

Connecticut is moving to ban all junk food and soda from its public schools.

Conn. Nears Strict School Junk Food Ban (AP)

Lawmakers want to make sure Connecticut students aren’t part of the Pepsi Generation. Connecticut is on the verge of adopting the most far-reaching ban in the country on soda and junk food in public schools, in an effort to curb rising rates of childhood obesity. Similar but weaker proposals have been introduced in at least 17 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Policies are on the books in a few states, such as Arkansas and California.

Advocates say Connecticut’s ban would be the strongest because it is so broad, applying to all grades and all school sites where food is sold. “Connecticut would be the first state to apply those standards to high schools,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutritional policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Most of the recently passed policies are limited in that they only apply to elementary and middle schools.”

Last week, lawmakers in the House voted 88-55 after an eight-hour debate to pass a law banning soda and junk food in cafeterias, vending machines and school stores. It also requires 20 minutes of physical activity outside of gym for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. The bill heads to the Senate next week where leaders expect it to pass.

“By no stretch of the imagination does it solve all the problems, but it’s very important that we provide the right models in our schools,” said Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr.

Unbelievable. The reason students are so fat is because they get no exercise, not because of Pepsi.

Certainly, this is not a problem that requires creeping totalitarianism to solve.

FILED UNDER: General, Health
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Michael says:

    In Gwinnett and Cobb counties in GA, students receive a card that their parents fun to buy food as the caf. Parents can log onto a Web site and see exactly what their kids are buying with it.

    Parental responsibility, thank you.

  2. DC Loser says:

    Junk food, coupled with no exercise, result in obesity. The replacement of healthy food with junk food in the schools is a problem. Junk food is loaded with saturated fats, salt, calories, etc. In my school days we lived without junk food and it was okay.

  3. Just Me says:

    I think they would do better to encourage a lot more PE and reccess.

    When I was in school we had reccess twice a day during elementary school and PE everyday through 9th grade.

    Now kids barely get one reccess period, and most schools do PE once a week.

    I am not keen on junk food machines in schools, but I don’t know that we need the state to turn into the food police, given that some foods the junk part is in the eye of the beholder (ie where exactly do pretzels fit in?).

  4. Meezer says:

    What is worse is that this will create yet more bureaucratic expense as someone(s) will have to police these policies.

  5. ICallMasICM says:

    One more agenda item that doesn’t address school’s intended purpose.