Florida Considers Restricting Vending Machines In Schools

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said he may shut down or restrict the use of vending machines in public schools in response to what he says is a public health epidemic of obesity that left unchecked will cost the state millions in health care costs, according to WCTV-TV in Tallahassee, Fla.

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Editor's Insight: The Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida has a big job ahead of it. The association needs to reach out to the agriculture department and educate officials about what they are doing to offer healthy options.

Schools should offer healthy products, but nutrition rules must be reasonable. Restrictions on products in the machines won't change kids' eating habits, and many schools have faced serious financial consequences from strict restrictions.

The vending and foodservice industries support improving nutrition education in schools. Healthier lifestyles require more classroom education and physical education. 05-23-11 by Elliot Maras