School District to Limit Snacks Available to Students - 8 News NOW

School District to Limit Snacks Available to Students

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LAS VEGAS -- Students will no longer be able to trade their lunch for chips and candy from a school cafeteria vending machine.

The U.S. Agriculture Department released its snack restrictions for nearly all public schools Thursday.

The rules affect any other foods sold on campus.

Greasy and fried are a thing of the past.

In 2006, Clark County took soft drinks out of vending machines and foods high in fat weren't allowed in either.

Many students think the new restrictions have gone too far.

"They taken away the candy!" ninth grader Jamiel McCovery complained.

Added Clark County student Mayra Felix, "It sucks. People want to eat what they want to eat."

Snacks will now have to be less than 200 calories. Before, there was no calorie restriction.

The amount of sodium allowed in a snack has been cut in half.

Some students said it's the first step in fighting the country's obesity epidemic.

"Instead of them skipping the healthy food and going straight to the junk food, they only have healthy food options," eighth grader Amber Elkins said. "They can start getting used to eating the healthy foods (and) start being healthy."

It's not just junk food and candy being taken out.

Regular sports drinks will now have to be switched out for the diet versions.

Even juice sold at schools will have to be reduced from 24 ounces to 12 ounces to meet the calorie requirement.

Virginia Beck, assistant director of the Clark County School District's food service department, said schools will need to comply with the new rules or face federal fines.

"When school begins in August, we'll be ready to go," Beck said. "We do have listed on our website the approved snacks and beverages that the schools will be allowed to sell under that regulation."

Beck said she hopes the changes in school will lead to students making healthy changes outside of school.

The students who spoke with 8 News NOW said if they want an unhealthy snack, they'll find a way to get it.

"I'll get over it," a student said. "I'll just go to the store after school."

There is a provision in the new regulations that will allow children to pack a lunch with treats and also allow things like bake sales to continue.

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