Last week, the Administration proposed new rules limiting the advertising of junk foods in schools to combat alarming rates of childhood obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 18 percent of children are considered obese, a rate almost triple that in 1980.
Under the proposed rules, companies would be barred from advertising high-calorie products in schools – including at sporting events. This would mean no more Coca-Cola or Pepsi logos donning scoreboards, vending machines, or even cups; although companies can still advertise their lower-calorie options. The soda companies have indicated their support for the rules.
The regulations are proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds and regulates school lunch and nutrition programs through its Food and Nutrition Services. The rules are part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative and a broader effort to set guidelines for local school wellness policies, which are required under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. If finalized, the rules will go into effect in 2015.