Obama Administration Launches Attack on Childhood Obesity

New Smart Snacks in School initiative eliminates junk food from school snack-vending machines.

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Michelle Obama has fought to combat childhood obesity. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Last week the U.S Department of Agriculture announced groundbreaking nutritional requirements for the food served in school, The Week reports.

The "Smart Snacks in School" standards are the latest addition to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which mandates specific standards for all foods sold in schools. The standards also target snack-vending machines in school.

Under the new "Smart Snacks in School" standards, schools will be required to nix junk food and sugary drinks from vending machines and school stores, replacing those items with more healthful fare like granola bars, fruits, and lower-calorie beverages ... Specifically, that means more whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins in place of foods with high levels of fat, sugar, and sodium. The rules will also limit snacks to 200 calories. 

Last year the Obama administration also demanded that federally subsidized school lunches and breakfasts be healthier. This new rule will go into effect in the 2014-2015 school year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980. In 2007-2008 it was found that non-Hispanic black girls were more likely than non-Hispanic white girls to be obese. 

Read more at The Week.

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