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CPS 'Healthy Snack And Beverage' Proposal Could Ban Gatorade, Whole Milk, Sugary Drinks

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Nettelhorst Elementary School students eat their lunches March 20, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Nettelhorst Elementary School students eat their lunches March 20, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Chicago Public Schools this week could move to ban the sale of a swath of snacks and drinks deemed unhealthy as part of its broader "Healthy CPS" initiative.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times' Rosalind Rossi, the plan would prohibit the sale of soft drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks with minimal nutritional value -- such as Gatorade -- during school hours, with an exception made for student athletes drinking sports drinks who are participating in sports events. Whole milk would be barred in favor of low-fat or skim varieties and cheese would be required to be "low, reduced-fat and low sodium."

The sale of chocolate bars for fundraisers would also be "minimized" under the plan, which follows guidelines outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge, the Sun-Times reports.

Last month, CPS received a $4.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that supported the launch of "Healthy CPS," an initiative aimed at tackling obesity rates and tobacco use among CPS students.

"Empowering students to make healthy choices in the classroom will give them the tools they need to make better choices at home," U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said last month of the initiative in a mayoral press release.

Though CPS has made efforts to offer more nutritious food in the district's schools and specifically its lunchrooms, meal servers have said a majority of students have resisted the healthier options. Earlier this year, a group of CPS lunchroom cafeteria workers released a report expressing concern at the amount of "healthy" frozen food being served up -- and largely left uneaten -- following the menu changes.

The proposal will be considered by the Chicago Board of Education Wednesday, ABC Chicago reports.

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