Friday, June 5, 2009
Unhealthy food and drinks would be expelled from school vending machines if legislation introduced by Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Gerber (D - Montgomery) is passed. The measure would ban the sale of all drinks but water, low-fat milk and "real" fruit juice, while also prohibiting snacks with over 100 grams of fat, 30% total calories from fat, or over 230 milligrams of sodium. Gerber says the legislation also encourages healthy eating by requiring two fruit or non-fried vegetable choices at a-la-carte menus each day. Gerber says that nearly 17% of Pennsylvania children are obese, and though nutrition is only part of the problem, it is a start. Gerber says he's had support from fellow legislators, but only a "neutral response" from school districts. "In the past, they have opposed it, but with the statewide Parent Teacher Association supporting it, and so many of the health organizations and pediatricians around the state supporting it, I think that they're feeling the pressure and realizing the time has come for them to stop trying to make money on giving unhealthy choices to our kids," says Gerber. The representative adds that the actual lunchroom meals' nutritional requirements are determined by the federal government, not by states.
Posted by wduqnews at 3:21 PM