Obama Administration Moves to Ban Junk Food from Schools
FarmPlate Feb 09, 2010 News 0 comments
The Obama administration is making efforts to ban junk food from schools in an attempt to reduce childhood obesity through the overhaul of the Child Nutrition Act, the federal law that oversees school lunch and breakfast programs. Thirty-two percent of American school children are overweight or obese, putting them at significant risk for diabetes and other weight-related health problems as they age. The legislation, which will be introduced this week, would expel sugary foods and drinks from schools and require schools to offer more nutritious options.
The legislation would expand school lunch programs and provide larger reimbursements for schools serving breakfast. The New York Times reports the improvements to the school food system would require a $1 billion per year increase in the budget, which is currently set at $18 billion.
Proposed improvements to the program would result in the elimination of sugary drinks and snacks, and vending machines and cafeterias would be filled with more nutritious options, including fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods.
Though the American Beverage Association does not favor a federal ban on soda in schools, companies like Coke and Pepsi have backed off on their opposition because they would still be able to sell water and juice to schools.
The results of a new study conducted by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health could be helpful in securing the ban on soda in schools. The study shows a possible correlation between soda and pancreatic cancer. A study of more than 60,000 people in Singapore found that those who drank more than two or more sugary sodas per week had a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, reports Reuters.
Mark Pereira, who led the study, said, “The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth.”
More National News
Feb. 8: The USDA has a new plan for the National Animal Identification System, which will attempt to strengthen animal disease prevention. Farm and Dairy
Feb. 7: The proposed federal tax on soda will not be put into effect after heavy lobbying by the food and beverage industry. Los Angeles Times
Feb. 5: The FDA is encouraging food manufacturers to better label nutritional information and reevaluate serving sizes. New York Times
Feb. 4: Lake Champlain has been named a national “Great Water.” Vermont Business Magazine
Feb. 4: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would expand solar power options by installing 10 million solar systems on US rooftops. Vermont Business Magazine