Friday, April 07, 2006

The War On Junk Food In Schools: Is This Federalism?

Here come the Feds:
House and Senate lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill Thursday to reduce junk food in schools by requiring that any food and drinks sold on campuses, including in vending machines, meet the same federal nutritional standards as food served in the cafeteria.

The measure would also force the Agriculture Department to rewrite its 30-year-old nutritional guidelines for schools to limit the amount of sugar, fat and sodium, as well as portion sizes, in response to a growing obesity epidemic among children.

"There are many reasons for this public health crisis, but one big reason is that our nation's schools have become inundated with junk food and sugary drinks," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a chief sponsor of the bill.

A Government Accountability Office study last year found that 99 percent of high schools, 97 percent of middle schools and 83 percent of elementary schools have vending machines, school stores or snack bars that sell mostly unhealthy snacks and drinks.
Read the whole thing.

I agree that schools should not be hawking unhealthy foods to children. But is it really a good idea for the federal government to enact yet another law requiring public schools across the country to march in lockstep?
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