- Associated Press - Sunday, October 12, 2014

BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Students celebrating a birthday at a northern Kentucky elementary school will have to do without birthday cake - or any kind of food for that matter.

The Kentucky Enquirer (http://cin.ci/1w1CxyA) reports Burlington Elementary School recently revised its wellness policy to address the growing childhood obesity rate nationwide.

It’s among a few schools that have a no-food-for-birthdays rule.

Kathy Reutman is in charge of making sure the wellness policies for Boone County schools meet federal guidelines.

She says about 37 percent of the county’s children are at risk of being obese.

The federal government doesn’t necessarily have a food ban, but it does encourage healthy eating and has made a series of rule changes and recommendations in the past few years toward that end.

Parent Valerie Bailey, whose son goes to Burlington Elementary, was on the committee that helped craft the policy. She said it was a difficult decision, but makes sense from a health standpoint.

“There was quite a bit of push back the first week,” Bailey said. “But once people started seeing the reasoning for it and realizing there were other options, they’re starting to get creative and find alternatives to still celebrate birthdays.”

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com

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