The same healthy legislation that I spoke about before that has been taking place in California is now taking place across the United States. News reports have surfaced about the same types of standards being made for healthy vending machines snacks in Washington, Massachusetts, and New York. In New York, unhealthy snacks are banned from the time school starts in the morning until the time the last meal is served as school and then can be served again. The law in Massachusetts models the laws that are being passed in California. These laws will not only change healthy vending machines in schools, but it will also affect snacks sold a la carte in cafeterias and those sold at fundraisers.
The Bay State
On Wednesday, July 13th, after five months of deliberation, the Public Health Council in Massachusetts approved their new guidelines for healthier options in schools. While many schools in the area have claimed that they have already taken action toward providing healthier options, this will insure that students are offered nutritional items that adhere to specific guidelines.
According to an article posted by local radio station, WAMC, it is requiring that fruits and vegetables be sold wherever food is sold around schools and “ensures that foods meet the standard for fat, sugar, (and) sodium content.”
These are just a few of the standards that snacks will face starting in the 2012 school year.
- A maximum of 200 calories per item.
- Less than 35% of calories can come from fat.
- Less than 20% of calories can come from saturated fat.
- Less than 30% of calories can come from sugars.
It was a unanimous vote by the Public Health Council. Massachusetts is now one of 29 states that have passed similar laws restricting food sold on school grounds. Some criticism has come from groups that fundraise on school grounds. They will no longer be able to have bake sales and sell items that do not meet the regulations. Overcoming this challenge and finding great healthy items to sell will only help accomplish the main goal of this law, which is to help fight obesity and poor childhood nutrition.