Congress Intervenes in School Junk Food Fight

I suspect the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) failure to enforce its own junk food rules probably had something to do with Congress getting involved on the front lines of the childhood obesity epidemic in America's public schools.

A bipartisan group of Congressman will introduce legislation today that would amend the National School Lunch Act, requiring all foods sold in public schools, including vending machines, snack bars and school fund-raisers.

What's encouraging about this bill: It would be applicable to all foods served in schools besides lunches, taking into account how a product promotes obesity (think doughnuts, soft drinks and potato chips).

However, some dietary experts, me included, remain concerned the true impact of the bill will be neutered by powerful lobbying groups like the American Beverage Association who believe merely removing soft drinks from elementary schools will do the trick.

Truth is, parents must get involved in preventing obesity in their homes, so their children won't live shorter lives than they do.

New York Times April 6, 2006 Registration Required

The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger April 6, 2006

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