First Lady Michelle Obama revealed on Tuesday new rules that would restrict the marketing of certain junk foods and sugary drinks in schools.
The White House and Department of Agriculture initiative prohibits the advertisement of unhealthy foods on school campuses during school hours, including sugary drinks which amount to 90 percent of such ads.
As an example, an ad for Pepsi would be banned from appearing on a scoreboard at a basketball game, but ads for Diet Pepsi and bottled water would be allowed. The ban would not be implemented overnight, but it would be phased out to let schools adjust their current marketing practices.
In a statement Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama said:
“The idea here is simple—our classrooms should be healthy places where kids aren’t bombarded with ads for junk food, 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 new rules come as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity, which she launched on February 9, 2010.
Mrs. Obama has been a fierce advocate of healthy living during her stay at the White House and her goal is to unite the country in its fight for healthy kids and support families to live healthier lives.
According to Letsmove.org obesity is a serious condition that negatively affects millions of children in the United States and could have irreversible repercussions in the future:
“Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African-American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40 percent of the children are overweight or obese. If we don’t solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma.”
The website blames a change in lifestyle where children eat more fast food than ever before and lead a more sedentary life due to the presence of electronics.
Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak will announce the new regulations at a White House event Tuesday and it follows previous changes in the types of food that are served in public schools around the nation, which required to provide healthier alternative to children.
[Image via WhiteHouse.gov]