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Massachusetts Sets School Nutrition Rules For Vending, A La Carte Lines

Posted On: 2/19/2011

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BOSTON -- Massachusetts health regulators have proposed rules to exclude soft drinks, salty and high-calorie snacks, white bread sandwiches and other foods considered to be unhealthy in vending machines, snack bars and a la carte lines at public schools.

A state law passed last year mandates that the Department of Health to draft the "healthier" standards in response to concerns about overweight students. They would apply to all places where food is sold outside the cafeteria, during the school day and a half-hour before and after classes.

Under the guidelines, the only beverages allowed would be water, lowfat milk, and real juice. They also call for lowfat snacks, whole-grain baked goods, the elimination of fried foods and items containing trans fat, and more fruits and vegetables.

The rules need the approval of the state Public Health Council, an appointed panel of doctors and experts, which is expected to consider them at a spring meeting. They would take effect in 2012.