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Americans Want Healthy Food in Schools

At a time when more and more Americans are protesting big government, it turns out that a majority of us support new laws setting higher nutrition standards in school, a new survey says.

According to a Gallup poll that surveyed just over 1,000 adults, about two-thirds said they would vote for a law that establishes nutritional standards for food sold in both public and non-public schools.

The proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is designed to prevent students from skipping nutritionally sound cafeteria meals in favor of food sold in snack bars or machines elsewhere on school campuses.

The proposed law is part of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, and the USDA is accepting public comments on it through April.

But the support doesn’t extend to sack lunches. Although those surveyed were inclined to address everything from snack machines to bake sales, they drew the line at home-packed lunches. Eighty-one percent of Americans said they would vote against a law that prohibited students from eating brown-bag lunches packed at home in school.

Those surveyed believed that regulating nutritional standards in schools would be an effective tool in addressing childhood obesity, as well as improving academic performance by providing nutrients essential to learning.

The poll was conducted March 8-9.

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