Proposed Bill Could Limit School Cafeteria Drinks

As the childhood obesity epidemic garners more and more attention, Texas lawmakers are aiming to do their part to fight it.  There's a proposed bill which could limit what drinks school cafeterias serve.

But, as Newschannel 6 Spencer Blake found out, it may not be a huge change for Texoma school districts.

Guidelines for public school cafeterias are no strangers to legislative efforts.

"In the past eight years the state has put out mandates as to what could be sold in the cafeteria," Iowa Park Superintendent Steve Moody said.

In the Texas House of Representatives, another proposed bill is on its way. House Bill 127 would restrict the types of drinks sold on school campuses.

Water and milk are allowed, along with juices and sports drinks that fulfill specific requirements, such as real juice content and sweetener content. While that may sound restrictive, the cafeterias in Iowa Park are already almost completely in compliance.

"We don't offer any other drinks I see on this list, so it should not affect us," Moody said.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Moody said any vending machines with carbonated drinks aren't even on until after school hours, another stipulation of the proposed bill.

City View ISD is also in about the same boat, elementary students only have the choice of milk or water at lunchtime.

"Most all the districts across the state are pretty well in line with what this is proposing right now," Moody said.

Moody said it never seems to be a problem with the school kids, they seem to fall right in line with the options the cafeteria gives them.

Even though there wouldn't be a big change needed in his district, Moody said he can see why lawmakers are looking into it.

"If it will help to slow down the child obesity and what we're seeing, then we would be supportive of that," he said.

The proposed House Bill 127 says the limitations would not apply to days school is not in session. If passed, the rules would go into effect for the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6