KCUR Health News
10:18 am
Mon August 2, 2010

New Rules Limit Junk Food In Kansas Schools

Beginning this week, kids craving a sweet snack or beverage during school are going to have a lot fewer options in Kansas.

The Kansas Board of Education recently approved new vending machine policies that take effect this month. It means soda and certain types of candy will no longer be available during the day at elementary and middle schools or until an hour after lunch in high schools.

David Smith is with the Kansas City, Kansas School District. He says the changes are a good thing, but he says he is worried about the potential financial impact.

"If those [vending] sales that we have previously been used to, if those don't materialize in the same way, then we're going to have schools that have an even more difficult challenge in terms of running their buildings and funding their activities," Smith says.

Gary George, Assistant Superintendent with the Olathe School District, says he's not anticipating a lot of changes as a result of the new rules.

"In fact I personally was surprised at the number of items that meet the nutritional requirements," says George. "There are a variety of snack type items - even some cookies and so forth that appear to be acceptable under the new guidelines."

George does say eliminating soda from vending machines will be a big deal for some schools in the district.

According to the Kansas Department of Education, most schools in the state already meet the new guidelines. But, even stricter rules will take effect by August of next year.

Specifically, schools must now meet 'advanced' guidelines. Next year, they'll have to meet 'exemplary' guidelines.

Find more Health Coverage on KCUR.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Download recent health stories or subscribe to the KCUR Health Podcast.

Find out what's going on in and around Kansas City, follow @KCURnews on Twitter or become a KCUR fan on Facebook.