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New rules will limit marketing unhealthy food in schools

Michelle Obama participated in a zumba class with Mario Lopez in Miami Tuesday to promote her “Let’s Move” campaign.
Michelle Obama participated in a zumba class with Mario Lopez in Miami Tuesday to promote her “Let’s Move” campaign. Joel Auerbach/Associated Pres

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WASHINGTON — For the first time, the federal government plans to regulate how food is marketed in public schools, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to reduce the allure of unhealthy foods to the nation’s children.

The White House and the Agriculture Department on Tuesday proposed marketing regulations that would ban in-school advertising for foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt and do not meet new federal nutrition rules for foods served in the country’s 100,000 public schools.

‘‘The idea here is simple: Our classrooms should be healthy places where kids aren’t bombarded with ads for junk food,’’ said Obama, who announced the proposal with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the White House. ‘‘Because when parents are working hard to teach their kids healthy habits at home, their work shouldn’t be undone by unhealthy messages at school.’’

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