[11/14/17] Recent Survey Finds Washington Teens Consuming Less Sugary Drinks At School

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A recent survey finds Washington teens are consuming less sugary drinks at school. That, in conjunction with a national program aims to keep our students healthy.

The recent 2016 Washington Healthy Youth Survey shows that teens are drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages in schools; a contributing factor is the Smart Snacks in School Program, which falls under The National School Lunch Program, a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools ensuring nutritionally balanced meals for lunch.

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, any school that participated in the National School Lunch Program was required to take part in the Smart Snacks in School Program, in which schools had to replace sugary beverages sold anywhere on school campus with lower sugar products. It also states that all foods sold at school during the school day meet nutrition standards, including foods sold a la carte, in the school store, vending machines, and any other venues where food is sold to students. 

The Washington Healthy Youth Survey takes place every two years and shows a decline in consumption of sugar based beverages not only statewide, but in Chelan and Douglas Counties as well. Barry Kling (Klang) is Administrator for Chelan-Douglas Health District…

111317 Healthy Youth Survey 1 :30 “….seven days at school.”

The numbers are encouraging. With stats from the Washington Healthy Youth Survey going back to 2006, a downward trend in sugar-sweetened beverages becomes apparent…

111317 Healthy Youth Survey 2 :36 “….it will lead to in the future.”

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, including non-diet sodas, sports drinks and other flavored sweetened drinks, is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cavities. While the trend is on the decline for the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages being consumed on school campuses by middle-graders and high school students, there has been in a steady rise in cases of obesity across not only the state, but nationwide in our schools. Again, Barry Kling…

111317 Healthy Youth Survey 3 :44 :“…trend is very encouraging.”

The Healthy Youth Survey is voluntary, and given every two years to 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th-graders. In the fall of 2016, more than 230,000 students from more than 1,000 schools, 236 school districts, and 39 counties took part.  The survey is a collaborative effort between four state agencies. It explores attitudes and behaviors of middle and high school students, and provides state and community organizations with information about which teen issues to focus on.  

To learn more about efforts to support healthy eating and drinking in schools, check out the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative on Gov. Jay Inslee’s website or you can find a link from this story at kozi.com.