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The Utah State Board of Education has decided not to impose hard and fast rules on the types of products that can be sold in vending machines in the public schools. Instead, the Board will provide nutritional guidelines while leaving the ultimate decision in local hands on what snacks will be available to kids.
In KSL's view, that's fine, as long as local school districts don't ignore the issue, but take steps to eliminate foods of minimal nutritional value from their hallways.
Primarily, we're talking soda pop and candy. Kids get enough of that elsewhere. No need to encourage its consumption at school, especially at a time when unhealthy eating and lack of exercise are resulting in an epidemic of obesity.
In this case, there should be no doublespeak or ambiguity in the schools. How can educators effectively teach proper nutrition and extol the values of eating healthy, when their students are turned loose between classes on vending machines that are stocked with junk food and sugary, high-caloric drinks?
The State Board's nutritional guidelines are sensible and a step in the right direction. Now, for the sake of their students, let's hope local school districts and charter schools have the good sense to follow the recommendations.