- The Washington Times - Monday, April 14, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued new rules that pretty much ban schools from offering students the chance to buy any type of junk food at all — even in the vending machines that are on campus but operated by independent companies.

The regulations, which kick in this July, say vending machines are only allowed to sell fruit, dairy products, whole-grain foods, lean-protein products or vegetable items that are less than 200 calories for “snacks” and 350 calories for “entrees,” Breitbart reported.

Schools are already limited in what they sell in the cafeterias due to regulations inspired by first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” healthy eating campaign.

The USDA said in a statement that “the new standards preserve flexibility for time-honored traditions like fundraisers and bake sales, and provide ample transition time for schools. USDA is committed to working closely with students, parents, school stakeholders and the food and beverage industries to implement the new guidelines, and make the healthy choice the easy choice for America’s young people.”

Items after July that are sold on school campuses can’t contain more than 35 percent sugar or fat, the food blog Epicurious reported. No trans fats are allowed. Moreover, schools can’t sell anything besides water, low-fat and no-fat milk, and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices — in sizes no larger than 12 ounces. Elementary school students, however, can only obtain the drinks in 8-ounce sizes, Breitbart reported.

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