Obama Administration pushes junk food out of schools

Legal news for social responsibility attorneys. The U.S. government begins a battle against childhood and adolescent obesity.

The Obama Administration is combating adolescent and childhood obesity by making schools remove sugary drinks and candy for more nutritious choices.

Washington, D.C.—With childhood obesity in the spotlight, the Obama Administration is planning to begin a drive this week that would remove Pepsi, French fries and Snickers candy bars in schools across the country. In a new soon-to-be introduced legislation, schools would be required to replace candy and sugary beverages with more nutritious choices, as reported by The New York Times.

Nearly two-thirds of the country’s adults and one-third of the nation’s children are overweight, which is double the rate reported in 1980. Under the legislation it will allow the reauthorization of the U.S. government’s school breakfast and lunch programs, which is designed to lead to healthy eating habits of children and teenagers across the nation. Schools would also have to offer more nutritious options, which school officials are claiming could be hard on the already strained school budgets; but the Obama Administration has proposed an addition $1 billion a year to add on to the $18 billion school meal program, which has left others wondering if that will be enough to cover the costs. Bake sales, parties and other occasional offerings of sweets will be exempt by the bill.

Thirty-one million students in over 100,000 schools benefit from the National School Lunch Program, which was created to make sure our nation’s children had enough to eat. The problem is that sugary drinks and fatty foods are sold outside the school breakfast and lunch programs in vending machines on school campuses, thus leading officials to require all school offerings to comply with the new ridged guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/ reported that, “obese children and adolescents are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes) than are other children and adolescents.” They are also more likely to become obese as adults. According to NES surveys and the CDC “(1976–1980 and 2003–2006) show that the prevalence of obesity has increased: for children aged 2–5 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 12.4%; for those aged 6–11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5% to 17.0%; and for those aged 12–19 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 17.6%.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for social responsibility lawyers.

About the Author Nicole