Michelle Obama pushes ban on marketing junk food in schools

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Politics,White House,Education,Food and Drink,Brian Hughes,Michelle Obama,PennAve,Tom Vilsack

First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday called for the federal government to end the marketing of junk foods in schools, a proposal that would eliminate vending machines advertising soda and other promotional material for items not deemed healthy.

“The idea here is simple — our classrooms should be healthy places where kids aren’t bombarded with ads for junk food,” the first lady said in an announcement. “Because when parents are working hard to teach their kids healthy habits at home, their work shouldn’t be undone by unhealthy messages at school.”

The so-called school wellness policy crafted with the Department of Agriculture would go into effect for the 2014-15 school year.

The latest push from the first lady’s office, however, is likely to stoke the GOP narrative that the Obama administration is meddling in decisions that should be left to families. Conservatives have accused the White House of implementing a “nanny state.”

The marketing push coincides with another administration effort to get unhealthy food out of schools. The new rules have yet to be finalized.

Some industry groups have already raised questions about whether the administration is moving too quickly on the marketing push.

The first lady’s latest announcement comes around the fourth anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” initiative.

“The new standards ensure that schools remain a safe place where kids can learn and where the school environment promotes healthy choices,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, joining the first lady in outlining the new campaign.

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