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Kentucky School Vending Machines Offer Healthier Changes Next Year

Snacks offered in Kentucky school vending machines could soon be healthier, according new federal regulations set to take effect next summer. The changes shouldn’t be monumental, says Sue Bartenfield, the nutrition program manager for the Kentucky Department of Education, and some state regulations, like fat content, which are tougher than the federal changes will remain in place.  “The new federal proposed sodium is more restrictive than ours, so we’ll have to follow those.  And then calorie limits are a little bit more restrictive, so there’re a few things we’ll have to do,” she says. Additional sugar in certain sports drinks has already been banned in Kentucky schools,  but some schools may still be forced to pay more for certain products, Bartenfield says. Further, she says state law already prohibits vending machine sales during the school day. But, the federal law would keep them shut down for a half-hour after school. “That’s more restrictive, because ours say until the end of the school day, to the last instructional period.  So it would just be continued 30 minutes longer,” she says. The national nutritionist annual meeting will be held this week in Kansas City. Bartenfield expects this to be a topic of conversation.