April 12, 2007
Simon and Fried on State Laws on School Vending
Michele Simon and Ellen Fried have published State Laws on School Vending: the Need for a Public Health Approach at 62 Food and Drug Law Journal 139-150 (2007).
School nutrition has taken center stage in the national debate over how to reverse rising rates of childhood obesity. State legislative activity, sluggish at first, has quickly intensified in recent years.
However, the article asserts, a closer look at the laws themselves is critical to prevent an exaggerated perception of progress from overshadowing reality. This article reviews several of the state laws that have been enacted thus far, and the compromises that enabled their passage. Much more needs to be done to improve school food. Moreover, the emerging patchwork quilt of laws strongly suggests a need for a more thoughtful public health approach that includes sound legal analysis outside of the realm of political compromise.
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