Junk food flunks out

Prodded by federal law and stung by criticism that they harm more than help children's nutritional habits, Wisconsin schools are exploring ways to spread healthy eating, in some cases discouraging sweet snacks and changing vending machine offerings.

Much of the work is still in the planning stage. But radical moves could be ahead if the soda ban in the Lac du Flambeau School District and the kibosh put on vending-machine candy sales in Appleton are any indicators. "I think some major things are going to happen with this," said Julie Allington, the nutrition education consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

A recent change to federal law mandates that any school participating in the National School Lunch Program - which translates to about 98% of public and private schools in the state - develop a school wellness policy by fall 2006.

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