Nutrition, obesity, and vending machines

As a part of the First Lady Michelle Obama's "Lets Move" campaign she calls for better nutrition in schools. Recently the Administration and Congress have began to work on banning low nutrition items from school menus and vending machines.

Texas has been infamous when it comes to obesity levels across the state, but it turns out we may be a little ahead of the nation when it comes to eliminating junk food from school vending machines.

Locally, several school districts including Amarillo I.S.D., Panhandle, Bushland, and Pampa have all pulled these items from menus and vending machines.

The Texas Department of Agriculture took the lead back in 2004 by starting a four year program to get rid of the junk food.

At that point Amarillo school nutrition officials started looking into the issue very seriously and took action.

"We decided as a nutrition department a couple of years ago to take out things like candy bars, things that weren't as nutritionally as sound as other things and replace those with more healthy options," said Brent Hoover, Food Service Director at A.I.S.D.

I also spoke to a child care expert and nutritionist to see how important it is for parents to extend the healthy habits started at school and provide healthy nutritious food at home.

"I think parents set the example, they need to set the example of eating healthy foods making those healthy choices because the kids learn by seeing their parents," said Katie Green, Child Care Administrator YMCA.

The nutritionists we spoke with said that snacking is inevitable; you don't have to ban sweets, but allow them in moderation.

Focus on stocking healthy options like yogurt, pretzels, and peanut butter. They also encourage exercise and family activities along with a healthier diet to help take a bite out of obesity.

For more information on the nutrition programs for the state of Texas, check out the link provided below for the Texas Square Meals website.