CHICAGO Dec 10, 2005 — Cartons of whole milk would be considered junk food, but baked Cheetos would not, under new rules proposed Friday by Illinois education officials.
The State Board of Education proposed the rules after Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked for a junk food ban in elementary and middle schools.
The new rules focus on the nutritional content of foods rather than broad categories of food.
Because of that, the proposed guidelines would allow 1 ounce bags of baked potato chips, even though all chips are now banned under the board's current definition of junk food. Whole milk would also be banned because of its high fat content, school officials said.
Some of the recommended cut-off points: calories from fat exceeding 35 percent (except nuts and seeds), calories from saturated fat exceeding 10 percent, and total calories exceeding 200 for an individual package.
"I think it's more practical," said the board's general counsel, Jonathan Furr. "We're focusing on nutrition, which is the objective to focus on a healthier environment."
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press