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First Lady Continues Efforts to Promote Childhood Nutrition

First lady Michelle Obama is promoting an initiative to remove advertisements on sodas and unhealthy snacks in vending machines in schools.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) First lady Michelle Obama continues her crusade against childhood obesity and nutritional health among youth.

"Our classrooms should be healthy places where our kids are not bombarded with ads for junk food," Mrs. Obama said at a recent press conference.

New rules proposed by Mrs. Obama and the U.S. Department of Agriculture would eliminate advertisements for unhealthy food and drinks in schools.

"Parents should be in control of their kids' health and their efforts should not be undermined when they send their kids off to school," Mrs. Obama said.

It would mean hallways and scoreboards with Coke or Pepsi advertisements would have to be changed - no logos allowed.

The new push comes on the fourth anniversary of Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move" initiative.

The program fights childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating and exercise while encouraging healthy choices.

"We don't take into consideration how much they're exposed to soda and sugary beverages.  The less exposure to that stuff is better for them," said registered dietician Jessica Anderson.

Anderson says good nutrition habits start when kids are younger.

"It's a big thing because you do what's comfortable to you and you model after who you trust," she said. "So if you see your parents eating the fruits and vegetables and drinking water and they teach those things it's in a safe area and it's with people they trust and it's something they'll continue to do."

The First lady says her program is showing results.

"Children born today will be accustomed to eating healthy during the school day, so for them the norm will be fruits and vegetables and not chips and candy," Mrs. Obama said, proclaiming that healthy students are not the only ones benefitting.

"Although they're not charging any more for their lunches, they're actually making more money because more kids are participating in the school lunch programs," Mrs. Obama said.

The American Beverage Association, which represents brands like Coke, Pepsi and Doctor Pepper, came out in favor of the new proposed measures.

A spokesperson from the St. Joseph School District's Nutrition Services said the program here will be different next year.

She could not provide specifics on what would be different at this time.
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