The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Community News Network

June 27, 2013

Junk food bounced from U.S. schools

WASHINGTON — Junk food and sugary drinks will be pulled from schools next year as part of a nutritional overhaul aimed at improving child health and tackling obesity.

The "Smart Snacks in School" standards released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes such options as full-fat chocolate cookies, fruit snacks and candy bars offered at lunch and in vending machines, replacing them with healthier foods such as peanuts, light popcorn and fruit cups. Elementary and middle school children can drink water, milk and juice, while high school students also will be offered beverages with 60 calories or fewer in a 12-ounce serving.

The snack rules, which had been proposed in February, take effect in July 2014, giving schools and suppliers time to adjust to requirements that promote foods high in whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables, the USDA said. The guidelines don't apply to foods sold after school or brought from home. Bake sales, fundraisers and sweet treats at parties are still allowed.

"It's important to teach children healthy eating habits that will affect their health throughout their lives," said Margo Wootan, the nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group, who has worked on the issue for more than 15 years. "It doesn't make sense for schools to teach nutrition in the classroom, then counter it by selling sugary drinks and candy bars in vending machines in the hallway."

The snack rules build on the revamped nutritional standards for school lunches and breakfasts enacted about a year ago. The agency reviewed almost 250,000 comments from teachers, students, and health and industry officials stemming from the proposal.

"Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Text Only
Community News Network
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee