Tear down this vending machine: US proposes school snack rules
Newly proposed rules would ban almost all sweet and greasy foods on school campuses with some exceptions, like bake sale fundraisers and a caloric limit on soft drinks instead of outright prohibition. Schools have 60 days to comment before the USDA finalizes the rules.
The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make school snacks healthier, a move that would ban the sale of almost all candy, high-calorie sports drinks and greasy foods on campus.Skip to next paragraph
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A study last year remarked that school snacks are a national security threat. The Christian Science Monitor's Modern Parenthood blog reported:
"More than 90,000 tons of junk food are being sold in American schools every year, is more than the weight of the aircraft carrier Midway.... former military leaders – including Richard Myers, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ,and James M. Loy, former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security – called today for school districts to limit the sale of junk food and for national legislation to enforce those limits and to fund better school lunch options that are more appealing while still being nutritious.
'This is not a spectator sport. It’s a team sport, a contact sport and we need parents on the team, but the reality is that kids are getting 40-50% of their calories in school daily,' Charles E. Milam, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy said at the organization’s release of the report in Washington today."
Under new rules the Department of Agriculture proposed Friday, school vending machines that once were full of Skittles and Sprite would instead be selling water, lower-calorie sports drinks, diet sodas and baked chips. Lunch rooms that now sell fatty "a la carte" items like mozzarella sticks and nachos would have to transition to healthier pizzas, fruit cups and yogurt.
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The rules, required under a child nutrition law passed by Congress in 2010, are an effort to combat childhood obesity. While many schools have already made improvements in their lunch menus and vending machine choices, others are still selling high-fat, high-calorie foods.