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"Look-alike" Smart Snacks in schools

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A UConn Rudd Center study, released in the journal Childhood Obesity, is the first to examine how selling look-alike Smart Snacks in schools affects parents' and students' attitudes about the brand and perceptions of schools selling these products. A fact sheet on the study is below.

Background:  In 2013, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) established Smart Snacks nutrition standards for snack foods sold in schools to encourage the sale of healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, and yogurt. In response, food companies reformulated popular brands of chips and sweet snacks to meet Smart Snacks standards. While many of the reformulated products are only sold in schools, they are often packaged to look similar to the widely available less-nutritious versions. Selling these “copycat” or “look-alike” versions of junk food—such as Cheetos, Pop-tarts and Fruit Rollups—in schools confuses students and raises concerns about schools selling them.

"Look-alike" Smart Snacks in schools - Fact Sheet