New Rules Planned for School Vending Machines Nationwide

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not everyone loves the policies — or the commercials — but Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s emphasis on healthier living habits seems to have had some impact on New Yorkers, who now have a life expectancy of 80.6 years compared with 78.2 years for the United States as a whole.

It’s too soon to tell whether the switch to healthier food in school cafeterias, and in school vending machines, has had a discernible effect on childhood obesity here. But now the Obama administration seems to be following in New York’s footsteps and is considering imposing similar vending machine rules on all the nation’s schools, The New York Times reports on Tuesday.

The Obama administration is working on setting nutritional standards for foods that children can buy outside the cafeteria. With students eating 19 percent to 50 percent of their daily food at school, the administration says it wants to ensure that what they eat contributes to good health and smaller waistlines. The proposed rules are expected within the next few weeks.

Last year lobbyists for the food and beverage industries mounted a campaign that persuaded Congress to roll back some of the rules that the Obama administration wanted to place on school lunches, as part of its nationwide campaign against childhood obesity.

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