Tackling Kentucky school obesity

Vending machines in schools across the nation may soon look a little different. Congress asked the Institute of Medicine to develop nutritional guidelines for foods children get to choose at school, like the food in vending machines.

For eighth grader, Olivia Alexander, choosing what she wants for lunch is pretty simple. It comes down to what she's in the mood for.

"I don't really like when they have greasy stuff, which they don't often, but I like anything that looks good," Alexander said.

"I usually get a fruit and I usually get a salad everyday. It's just something I always get," eighth grader, Caitlin Martin said.

The Institute of Medicine issued a report recommending healthier options for vending machines and a la carte items.

"In Kentucky we already have those set up, so I think we're really ahead of the curve on this," said Kim Simpson, with Bowling Green City Schools. "We have standards for fat content, portion size, sugar content."

The Bowling Green City School District works to push its regular lunch menu, so it doesn't offer many a la carte options

"We still sell a few, but we try to push our menu and we offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables," Simpson said.

The vending machines are also beginning to look a little different.

"The food services are now starting to get into vending with the milk machines," Simpson said.

The vending machines at the Bowling Green City School District offer water, milk and juice to offer healthier options during the day.

"There are still Coke machines in the building, but they're not allowed to be open during the school day," Simpson said.

The Bowling Green City School District is also encouraging the schools to use healthier options for class parties. One example is not using food as a reward.

For more information about the Institute of Medicine's report you can log onto "http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3788/30181/42502.aspx".

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