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Federal effort to promote healthy eating in schools

April 5, 2011
Plain English Version

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The federal government is trying to ban junk food in schools. They will call for new laws that do not allow schools to sell soda, french fries and candy bars. Vending machines will have to have nutritious food in them. The government hopes to reduce the number of children who are overweight.
Michelle Obama, the wife of the president is in charge of a campaign to reduce childhood obesity.
An important question is who should decide what food is served in school. Republicans want local school boards to make the choice. Democrats favor the federal government setting standards.
Some people believe that healthy food will cost the schools more money. The federal government will make more money available, but it may not be enough.
Junk food cannot be sold as part of the school lunch and school breakfast programs. Many schools sell fatty foods to raise money for school sports activities. Many schools are already changing their nutrition programs. They are selling juice instead of soda.
Some people say parents should control what children eat. The food industry does not want new federal laws. They believe the changes should be voluntary.
Will new laws change the way children eat? Experts on health care say children will change their habits and eat the food that is offered to them. Others are not so sure.

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