Companies support school junk food logo switch

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

McLean, UNITED STATES: Students at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia, purchase soft drinks from vending machines on school property AFP Photo/Paul J. RICHARDS

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by Nina Mehlhaf, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 6:13 PM

Poll:
Should schools be required to get rid of logos for junk food and sugary drinks?

PORTLAND -- First Lady Michelle Obama is marking the 4th anniversary of her "Let's Move" campaign by announcing new efforts to keep kids healthy.

One of those efforts would require schools to get rid of logos for junk food and sugary drinks, and some companies that make those products agree it's not a bad idea.

"Our classrooms should be healthy places where our kids are not bombarded with ads for junk food," Obama said at a press conference at the White House Tuesday.

More: Rules to limit marketing unhealthy food in schools

Obama and the USDA say schools have to phase out junk food and sugary drink logos on everything from posters to drink cups and menus, and even scoreboards. They say those are reminders of unhealthy foods that they're trying to get kids away from.

For example, vending machines that have big, splashy logos for Coca-Cola or Doritos won't be allowed. Those images will have to change to healthier logos such as bottled water, real fruit juices or even Diet Coke.

But some parents say they don't want the government to be in charge of what their kids see and don't see.

"I don't think it inspires a kid to go grab a Coke or something," says Kevin Goldsmith, a Lincoln High School parent. "If it's new signage that's really in your face then I don't really agree with that, but if it's something that's been here forever, then I think it's okay."

And some students agree.

"I would not suspend or ban, or maybe even regulate, any advertisements of any company just because I don't believe in what they stand for," said Lincoln students Sawyer Howitt. "But I think there's definitely work to be done in terms of fighting diabetes."

Big beverage companies like Pepsi and Coke actually support the move, saying it's a logical next step to market their healthier brands.

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