The U.S. Department of Agriculture submitted a proposal, congruent with first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to combat childhood obesity, that will essentially ban unhealthy foods from schools nationwide.
The department has already overhauled school lunches, but it wants to take it a step further: Ban all potato chips, candy and soda on campuses.
The 160-page proposal, submitted Friday, says that the agency wants schools to replace junk food with snacks that are low in fats, sugar and salt and "have whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, or protein foods as their main ingredients."
The agency was generous enough to make exceptions for special occasions such as bake sales, fund-raisers, holidays and birthdays.
"The link between poor diet and health problems (such as childhood obesity) is a matter of particular policy concern because the relevant health problems produce significant social costs," the proposal states. "… Excess body weight has long been demonstrated to have adverse health, social, psychological and economic consequences for affected adults."
The proposal asserts that many schools have successfully introduced the food reforms with little or no loss of revenue.
Michelle Obama launched a national campaign in 2010 against childhood obesity. President Obama signed a $4.5 billion child-nutrition measure into law later that year.
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