New Federal Rules Limit Unhealthy Snacks Sold in Schools

Candy, cookies, sugary drinks, including those high-calorie sports drinks – won’t be allowed as snacks in schools under new federal rules announced this week.

The change will take effect in July 2014. Mary Beth Kavanagh, a registered dietician and nutritionist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, says it’s part of a bigger effort. New rules on school lunch and breakfast menus were announced LAST year.

“Once the child walks into school, even if the child comes into school with money to spend for lunch or the al la carte line, the options will be really tightened up so that there’s more healthier food options for them to choose," Kavanagh says.

Snacks will be limited to 200 calories and required to contain more whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Think small bags of carrots instead of greasy potato chips.

Nationwide, childhood weight has become an urgent health epidemic. In Ohio, more than one out of every 3 children between 10 and 17 years old is overweight or obese, according to the most recent Ohio Family Health Survey.

The passage of this latest set of rules to combat childhood obesity were required under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was passed by Congress in 2010 with broad bipartisan support.

Support Provided By