Making Vending Machines Healthier For Students
House members took an important step forward in the battle against child obesity on Wednesday by approving new restrictions on vending machines in middle schools. State law currently bars soft drinks from being sold in elementary schools or during a student's lunch period. The Child Nutrition Standards bill, Senate Bill 961, which was recommended by the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, expands the soda ban to machines in middle schools and when breakfast is sold. No more than half of the beverages offered to students in high schools from the vending machines could be sugared soft drinks and bottled water also must be offered. Diet soft drinks still could be sold in middle schools. The bill also would prohibit elementary school students from using snack machines. In middle and high schools, 75 percent of the snacks available in the machines would have no more than 200 calories each. The measure, which has already passed the Senate, now goes to Gov. Mike Easley for his signature.