Schools across the state will need to follow new health guidelines for food purchased in vending machines, a la carte lines, and in-school fundraisers starting this July. They prohibit the sale of high fat and calorie items like soda and candy during the day. I.S.U. extension nutrition specialist, Ruth Litchfield, says the ban should also include sports drinks, flavored waters and caffeinated beverages.
Latte bars, cappuccino bars, coffee bars…these would all be allowed and these products are all very high in fat and sugar and calories. That was not the original intent of this legislation,” Litchfield told a legislative review panel Tuesday. The Iowa Dietetic Association is urging state lawmakers to ban the sale of sports drinks and coffee drinks in K-12 schools. The association’s president is Lois Stillman.
“It really does affect the ability to focus and learn when you are hyper,” Still said. “We have enough attention deficit problems, so why have these available for kids to grab and during the day?” Carol Greta is an attorney for the Iowa Board of Education, which set the new rules.
“Nobody has the high moral ground here. Everyone agrees that kids need to be ingesting better nutritional value,” Greta said. But, Greta told the panel the state board made a conscious decision not to enact too many restrictions. If the rules are too strict, Greta explained, it’ll. will only encourage kids to leave campus to buy junk food elsewhere.
The Administrative Rules and Review committee declined to delay the rules but recommended the full legislature consider the issue next session.