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Chips, Sodas Out, Healthier Fare In With New School Snack Rules
Date:2/1/2013

at 39 states have already implemented similar rules on school-based snacks. The new USDA rules "would establish a national baseline of these standards," the agency said.

The proposals are now open for a 60-day period of public comment, and schools do not have to implement them until after a full school year passes following the rules' final adoption by the USDA.

The nonprofit consumer advocate group Center for Science in the Public Interest said it "cheered" the new proposals.

"Under USDA's proposed nutrition standards, parents will no longer have to worry that their kids are using their lunch money to buy junk food at school," the group's nutrition policy director, Margo Wootan, said in a news release.

"There's been good progress on school foods over the last decade as a result of local school district and state policies and voluntary efforts by the soft-drink industry," she added.

"But still, there are too many unhealthy foods and drinks in schools. Two-thirds of elementary school students and almost all high school students can buy foods and beverages outside of the meal programs in schools," Wootan said. "Studies show that unhealthy snacks and drinks sold in schools undermine children's diets and increase their weights."

More information

There's more on the new school snack proposals at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

-- E.J. Mundell

SOURCES: Feb. 1, 2013, news releases, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest


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