Michelle Obama Wants to Ban Junk Food Marketing in Schools

First lady Michelle Obama stepped up the pressure Tuesday against companies selling junk food to students, announcing a new government proposal that would ban advertising of sodas and unhealthy snacks in public schools.

The new USDA rules would phase out the advertising of sugary drinks and junk foods on vending machines and around campuses during the school day and set guidelines for other in-school promotions, from banners hung in hallways to sponsored scoreboards on school football fields. Mrs. Obama announced the proposed rules on the fourth anniversary of her "Let's Move" childhood obesity program.

"Our classrooms should be healthy places where kids are not bombarded with ads for junk food," Mrs. Obama said at a White House event.

First lady Michelle Obama speaks about children eating healthy food in schools during an event in the East Room of the White House, on Feb. 25, 2014 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the new rules would eliminate marketing for products that cannot be sold ins chools. "if you can't sell it, you ought not to be able to market it," Vilsack said. He said companies spend $149 million a year marketing food and drinks to kids in schools.

Mrs. Obama made physical fitness and healthier eating her signature policies when her husband took office in 2009. The rules are part of USDA's regulation of school meals, but Mrs. Obama added her own star power to promoting them Tuesday.

The hope is to normalize healthy eating and regular exercise for kids, she said. "So for them the norm will be fruits and vegetables and not chips and candy," she said. "So hopefully in the grocery market they will be begging us for items from the produce aisle instead of from the snack aisle."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/first-lady-proposes-ban-junk-food-marketing-schools-n38201

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