Government: Cut out junk food ads in schools

It's not just about what America's kids are getting in the lunch line.
Associated Press
Feb 26, 2014

The Obama administration is moving to phase out junk food advertising on football scoreboards and elsewhere on school grounds — part of a broad effort to combat child obesity and create what Michelle Obama calls "a new norm" for today's schoolchildren and future generations.

"This new approach to eating and activity is not just a fad," Mrs. Obama said Tuesday as she described the proposed rules at the White House.

Promotion of sugary drinks and junk foods around campuses during the school day would be phased out under the Agriculture Department rules, which are intended to ensure that marketing is brought in line with health standards that already apply to food served by public schools.

That means a scoreboard at a high school football or basketball game eventually wouldn't be allowed to advertise Coca-Cola, for example, though it could advertise Diet Coke or Dasani water, also owned by Coca-Cola Co. Same with the front of a vending machine. Cups, posters and menu boards that promote foods that don't meet federal standards would also be phased out.

Ninety-three percent of such marketing in schools is related to beverages. And many soda companies already have started to transition their sales and advertising in schools from sugary sodas and sports drinks to other products they produce. Companies are spending $149 million a year on marketing to kids in schools, according to the Agriculture Department.

The announcement at the White House was part of a week of events marking the fourth anniversary of the first lady's "Let's Move" program. Mrs. Obama also traveled to Miami Tuesday to announce that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Recreation and Park Association will serve more fruits and vegetables at after-school programs and ensure kids get 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day. NBC's "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler introduced the first lady.

The proposed school marketing rules come on the heels of federal regulations that now require food in school lunch lines to be more healthful than in the past.

Separate rules, which are to go into effect in September, will cover other food around school as well, including in vending machines and "a la carte" lines in the lunch room. Calorie, fat, sugar and sodium limits now will have to be met on almost every food and beverage sold during the school day, as mandated by a 2010 child nutrition law.

Even though diet sodas would be allowed in high schools under the proposed rules announced Tuesday, the rules don't address the question raised by some as to whether those drinks are actually healthful alternatives to sugary soda.

Some healthful-food rules have come under fire from conservatives who say the government shouldn't dictate what kids eat — and from some students who don't like the new alternatives.

Mrs. Obama defended herself against critics, saying that "I didn't create this issue." She said kids will eventually get used to the changes.

"That's our job as parents, to hold steady through the whining," she said.

Aware of the backlash, the Agriculture Department is allowing schools to make some of their own decisions on what constitutes marketing and is asking for comments on some options. For example, the proposal asks for comments on initiatives like Pizza Hut's "Book It" program, which coordinates with schools to reward kids with pizza for reading.

Rules for other school fundraisers, like bake sales and marketing for those events, would be left up to schools or states.

Off-campus fundraisers, like an event at a local fast-food outlet that benefits a school, still would be permitted. But posters advertising the fast food may not be allowed in school hallways. An email to parents — with or without the advertising — would have to suffice. The idea is to market to the parents, not the kids.

The rules also make allowances for major infrastructure costs — that scoreboard advertising Coca-Cola, for example, wouldn't have to be immediately torn down. But the school would have to get one with a different message or product the next time it was replaced.

Schools that don't want to comply could leave the National School Lunch Program, which allows schools to collect government reimbursements for free and low-cost lunches for needy students in exchange for following certain standards. Very few schools choose to give up those government dollars, though.

The beverage industry — led by Coca-Cola Co., Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo — is on board with the new rules. American Beverage Association President and CEO Susan Neely said in a statement that aligning signage with the more healthful drinks that will be offered in schools is the "logical next step."

The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rules, which also would allow more children access to free lunches and ensure that schools have wellness policies in place.

The 2010 child nutrition law expanded food programs for hungry students. The rules being proposed Tuesday would increase that even further by allowing the highest-poverty schools to serve lunch and breakfast to all students for free, with the cost shared between the federal government and the schools. According to the Agriculture Department and the White House, that initiative would allow 9 million children in 22,000 schools to receive free lunches.

The department already has tested the program in 11 states.

Comments

Stop It

"...summarization of Barack and Michelle Obama’s 5 year reign in the White House is by far the best I’ve ever read as it squarely hits the nail on the head. And it took a black reporter writing it to make it as effective as it is. A white man’s account would be instantly criticized by the liberal media as pure racism. But, how can anyone scream Racist when an exacting description of the Obamas is penned by a well known journalist of color?"

For your perusal:

http://letvent.com/2013/11/07/a-...

Nice article and a great pic of that infamous a$$...

deertracker

Are you really that dumb? Just because the HATER is black does not lend any more credibility to his rhetoric!

MattDamon

Here's a question for Contango and the other like minded people posting here...

How would you feel about a business like Teddy Wears or Adult Mart (lingerie, pornography, ect..) having ad space at a high school football stadium? The ad would just contain the name of the business and perhaps a non pornographic logo. Overall very similar to a sign you would see for McDonalds, BK, ect

kURTje

Sir-mix-a lot/Baby got back!

momto2perkinskids

She needs to get her nose out of our business and worry about her own kids. My kids are well taken care of, go to school, are in no way neglected or abused ...on MY DOLLAR.. SO IF I FEEL THE NEED OR WANT TO TAKE MY CHILDREN ONCE A WEEK OR ONCE A MONTH FOR A MEAL OUT OR THEY WANT A TREAT FROM THE GROCERY STORE THAT'S MY BUSINESS!!! THEY SOMETIMES ASK FOR A TREAT BUT KNOW THEY CAN LIVE WITH OUT IT TOO AND NO THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED FAT OR OBESE THEY ARE WITHIN RANGE FOR THEIR AGES AGE HEIGHTS. THEY DO HAVE MEDICAL ISSUES BUT THE ISSUES HAVE NOTHING TO WITH NUTRITION. I HAVE A HARDER TIME GETTING THEM TO EAT MEAT THAN VEGGIES. OH AND BTW THEY ARE BEING TAUGHT TO COOK TOO.. SO THEY WILL BE ABLE TO FEND FOR THEM SELVES WHEN THEY ARE STARTING OUT ON THEIR OWN!!! TAKE AWAY THE ITEMS AND THEY'LL WANT THEM MORE.

The Big Dog's back

Hopefully the 2 Perkins kids turn out better than the mom.

momto2perkinskids

rather inappropriate you dont even know me what a jerk.

momto2perkinskids

rather inappropriate you dont even know me what a jerk.

Informed

And what does that have to do with government-provided (aka school-provided) lunches? No one has their nose in your business If your kids are buying school lunches, then it isn't just your business, it's also the government's.
And quit with the all-caps. It is rude and equivalent to shouting at people on the board.

deertracker

Only a real idiot would have a problem with ANYONE promoting healthy eating! Be a real mom not a friend!

OH-IO

It's about time someone promoted health in America. Childhood obesity is at a all time high. Stop sitting your fata_ _ es on the couch and give these kids a chance for a better life.

Informed

It's not even just about obesity. It's about future high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks, strokes, etc. that even thin people have if they don't eat a healthy diet.
Btw, not all overweight people eat poorly, and not all thin people eat healthy. That is a huge misconception. I know kids who eat crap all day long every day and are as thin as rails, and I know kids that eat a healthy well-balanced diet that are a more stocky build. Internally and over the long haul, the stocky kid is probably healthier than the skinny kid.

Darwin's choice

Lunch with her highness!!!!

Hurry and enter, see how much you can eat!

http://www.obamacaregov.us/lunch...

The photo's show her real "healthy eating".

But, don't eat like she does, eat like she tells you to!!

pntbutterandjelly

Maybe some of these who are anti-Obama types would like it to be legal for children to play with dynamite, guns, drugs and Chinese made toys.
(Give me liberty or give me death" starts to take on a whole different complexion.)

BabyMomma

If they want to curb obesity. Make it so the poor people can't buy candy, soda, monsters, red bulls, ice cream, etc with their food stamps. Not only that, but the people I know who receive food assistance get about double what I spend of MY MONEY on groceries a month. And they ain't buying Kroger brand, they're entitled to quality!!! Or they sell half of them for drugs, and eat like a taxpayer has to.

deertracker

Stop dogging your family! Not cool!

The Big Dog's back

LMAO!

BabyMomma

I've been dogging your mom. Keep it together homie G funk.

Dr. Information

According to Obama's, everyone deserves a fair shot, no matter how much effort they put in…..at being obese. According to Nanci Pelosi….obesity is like freeing one's self to do whatever they have truly wanted to do.

Change out the words obese with whatever you want to and you still have blathering nonsense by leaders of this country.

starryeyes83

Make it easy, ANYBODY with kids ,getting SNAP, don't allow them to buy the crap junk with it. Including, ALL High sugary cereals, Juice drinks, Pop, chips, ice cream and ANY Energy drinks. No mac & cheese or Spaghetti o's ETC, NO frozen snacks of any kind. NO cookies, donuts, fruit pies or the like.

If they want that stuff Force them to pay for it Out of pocket.

pntbutterandjelly

A "freedom of choice" got Eve (and all the rest of us) into BIG time trouble. Let's see...fruit of carnal knowledge or...oatmeal? decisions, decisions, decisions!
(Pass the apple peeler over here and we'll worry about the oatmeal issue later)

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