March 7th, 2012

Junk food ads prevalent in Maine high schools despite ban, study finds

By Jackie Farwell
Bangor Daily News

Maine high schools are plastered with promotions for junk foods despite a state law that prohibits marketing unhealthy snacks and drinks on public school grounds, according to a new study.

Posters and signs for junk foods appeared in 85 percent of 20 Maine high schools examined by the study led by Michele Polacsek, an associate professor of public health at the University of New England. Schools violating the law averaged nearly a dozen of the promotions, with many of the ads springing up far beyond the cafeteria doors, the study found.

“We were not surprised to find that most of the state’s high schools marketed unhealthy foods and drinks where those items are sold and consumed, but we were very surprised to learn that so many schools still promote unhealthy fare in teachers’ lounges and near athletic areas, including gyms and sports fields,” Polacsek said in a press release.

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