Food Marketing > Marketing in Schools


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In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented new rules that prohibit marketing of products that do not meet nutrition standards to children and teens in schools during the school day. However, food companies continue to market sugary drink and junk food brands to children through their schools, including through branded fundraisers, “educational” materials, incentives for teachers, and sponsorships. Sales of branded “look-alike” snacks in schools also allows companies to market junk food in schools (image credit: Zac Zellers).

Rudd Center Research

  • Harris, J.L., Hyary, M., & Schwartz, M.B. (2016). Effects of offering “look-alike” products as Smart Snacks in schools. Childhood Obesity, 12(6), 432-439.
  • Harris, J.L., & Fox, T. (2014). Food and beverage marketing in schools: Putting student health at the head of the class. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(3), 206-208.


  • “Look-alike” Smart Snacks in schools fact sheet and infographics

  • Food Marketing in Schools fact sheet
  • WellSAT 3.0: The WellSAT is a quantitative assessment tool to score and help improve local School Wellness Policies, including policies on food marketing in schools. Since 2010, this measure has been used by thousands of people across the country, representing school districts from every state.