When I was in high school, I thought the vending machines were so cool. They made me feel like an adult.
I could grab some food whenever I wanted. No more waiting for lunch period. Awesome!
But today, 17% of school kids are obese, triple the rate it was in 1980. So giving teenagers open access to junk food all day is a dumb idea.
That’s why the USDA is gunning to regulate all food sold in schools, including vending machines. Right now the U.S. Agriculture Department only oversees school lunches, and bars the sale of foods with poor nutritional value, such as soda.
But, it does not regulate foods sold a la carte, or in school stores. This may change, however.
Soon the USDA will begin drafting legislation that will give it the power to oversee all food in schools. This way stuff sold in vending machines will not “undermine” nutrition programs. Sounds like a good idea.
More recently, The FDA also is addressing the a la cart items often sold at school cafeteria’s. These are often high calorie items like pizza that compete with more healthier items being offered.
The findings come as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepares to issue policies requiring that food and beverages sold outside of federal school meal programs meet minimum nutrition standards. These items sold in vending machines, school stores, and cafeteria a la carte lines are often called “competitive foods” because they compete with school meals for students’ spending. Src
Most people will spend their entire lives behind a desk eating junk food and not moving, no sense starting them off early!