A quick check with local school districts in the San Antonio area shows that initially there would be no real impact from a new proposal from the federal government to eliminate marketing of foods and drinks that fall into the unhealthy category inside schools and during school activities.
But a closer look indicates that perhaps it will, especially for those who have accepted funding for advertising space on sports scoreboards, athletic fields and other school installations.
For the most part, schools locally already adhere to federal recommendations initiated by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and no longer offer unhealthy foods in vending machine.
The new rules would go further.
Obama said Tuesday, “I think we can all agree that our classrooms should be healthy places where kids are not bombarded with ads for junk food."
Her reasoning is that approximately 90 percent of “in school” marketing is related to soft drinks nationwide, and that industry spends $149 million on it.
At Harlandale Independent School district, a spokesperson wrote to KSAT saying, “Harlandale ISD does not market any unhealthy foods in our schools. In fact, we don't even have vending machines with unhealthy foods or drinks available to our students.”
North East ISD also has healthy vending.
The question remains however, when it comes to partnering up with restaurant and food companies for school incentive programs and fundraising, what would be banned.
Aubrey Chancellor, NEISD spokeswoman, said, "There are many chain restaurants, pizza places, hamburger joints that often market to our students and pass out coupons and that sort of thing. So we will really have to figure out, 'Is that considered an unhealthy restaurant, even if they offer healthy options?"
Leslie Price with the city’s largest school district, Northside Independent School District said, “We don’t have agreements for advertising of food or drinks. The only thing we might put up are some posters from the Department of Agriculture about fruits and vegetables. We have no agreements for funds or donations for food or drink in exchange or related to advertising.”
For more information on the new guidelines, click here.