Weekly Roundup: Nutrition Guidelines Planned for School Vending Machines

Guidelines Expected to Mirror Recently Implented Standards for School Meals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to introduce nutrition guidelines for food sold outside of school cafeteria meals, the New York Times reports. The guidelines will apply to “competitive foods,” which include items found in vending machines or sold a la carte.

Billboards to Launch Responding to Controversial Georgia Campaign

The backlash against a controversial public awareness campaign in Georgia continued this week, when activist Ragen Chastain announced that she’s secured more than $21,000 for her own billboards, the Huffington Post reports. “We are putting up billboards in high traffic areas, and posters at bus shelters around Atlanta with positive messages to make sure that all kids know that they are valued and respected with the body that they have now,” Chastain writes on her blog.

New Disney Obesity Exhibit Criticized

A new interactive exhibit at Epcot is drawing criticism from some childhood obesity advocates, who say it only works to reinforce stereotypes. Weighty Matters reports that the exhibit “Habit Heroes” sees kids shooting digital hot dogs with broccoli in an attempt to fight off an obese villain named “Lead Bottom.”

Doctor Compares Childhood Obesity Effort to Tobacco Fight

The childhood obesity movement can learn a lot from the successful advocacy effort to lower smoking rates, Dr. Thomas Peterson writes in a post for The Doctor Weighs In. Peterson writes that “the parallels are unmistakable: smoking and obesity are the nation’s two most preventable destroyers of health; they are both heavily influenced by corporate marketing, which has typically preyed on children as a focus of marketing strategies, and they have both benefited from growth resulting from relatively inexpensive products.”

Dentist Joins Effort to Combat Childhood Obesity

Concerned about the effect that unhealthy food and beverages are having on children’s teeth, a Texas dentist is raising awareness about childhood obesity. reports that Dr. Bonnie Villareal is working with community groups on education programs, noting that not only do unhealthy habits effect kids’ waistlines, they also harm their teeth. "Right here you see a large cavity primarily caused by sugary drinks," says Villareal while pointing to an x-ray.

Deen: No Regrets About Diabetes Reveal

Celebrity chef Paula Deen tells the Associated Press that she has no regrets about announcing that she suffers from Type 2 Diabetes at the same time she also announced a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat the disease.  Deen confirmed to the AP that she is being compensated for promoting the pricey medication, but added that “[i]t's the way of the world. It's the American way. But I am taking a portion of that compensation and giving it back to the (American) Diabetes Association."

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Healthier Drink Options Head to the Hill in Maryland


IN THIS ISSUE: At least one Leader is especially eager for this year’s session of the Maryland General Assembly: There will be votes on two bills aimed at giving residents more access to healthier drink op

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Send a Valentine to Smart Snacks Sweethearts


Dear Supporters,

This Valentine's Day, instead of chocolates, I'm hoping you will help me send Valentines to Smart Snacks Sweethearts—people doing outstanding work to make sure that all snacks in schools are healthy ones.

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