In a resolution that stated “most vending machine snacks have little nutritional value, and are in direct competition with a healthy school lunch program” the Washington, DC school system unanimously voted to replace junk food and sodas in school vending machines. The school system intends to fill the machines with healthier snack and food options?an effort designed to improve the health of DC school children and help combat the nation’s obesity epidemic.
The resolution will be implemented in October in seven schools and hopefully, have all public schools involved by February. In addition, the resolution also puts very specific dietary restrictions on vending machine snacks, limiting fat and sugar. Also, there will be an implementation of maximum portion sizes to help control the consumption of empty calories.
The resolution was met with overwhelming support. Many experts testified in favor of the resolution, including, Joy C. Johanson, a researcher at the District-based Center for Science and in the Public Interest. Johanson stated, “Schools should practice what they teach. Selling low-nutrition foods in schools contradicts nutrition education and sends children the message that good nutrition is unimportant.”
In recent years, Philadelphia, New York City and Los Angeles school systems have also made moves to encourage healthy eating in schools as a result of growing concerns associated with the rise of childhood obesity.
Source: Washington Post