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More California Teens Consume Soda and Fast Food Each Day Than Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

September 1, 2005

Policy Brief

Authors: Theresa A. Hastert, Susan H. Babey, PhD, Allison L. Diamant, MD, MSHS

Each day two-thirds of California teens drink soda, nearly half eat fast food, and only a quarter eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, as reported in this new health policy research brief that uses data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2003). Older teens, boys, Latinos, African Americans and those from low-income households drink the most soda. Latinos, African Americans, Asians and the least affluent eat the most fast food. Soda consumption is associated with the presence of sodas in school vending machines, as well as with fast food consumption. Greater fast food consumption is also associated with eating fewer fruits and vegetables. This brief presents policy recommendations aimed at improving the school food environment as a way to improve the eating behaviors of California teens. This brief was funded by a grant from The California Endowment.

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