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Agriculture Dept proposed ban on junk food, sugary drinks; companies shift to other products

Wednesday - 2/26/2014, 1:00am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Say good-bye to ads for junk food and sugary drinks on school grounds.

The Agriculture Department is proposing new rules to ensure that marketing to students is brought into line with the health standards already in public schools.

That means a scoreboard at a high school or basketball game eventually wouldn't be allowed to advertise Coca-Cola. Same with the front of a vending machine. Cups, posters and menu boards that promote foods that don't meet federal standards would also be phased out.

Many soda companies have already started shifting their sales and advertising in schools from the sugary stuff to other products they produce. The Agriculture Department says the companies spend $149 million a year marketing to kids.

The announcement came at the White House as part of the events marking the fourth anniversary of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program.

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150-w-35-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with first lady Michelle Obama)--First lady Michelle Obama is announcing plans for new rules barring ads for unhealthy foods from school grounds. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (25 Feb 2014)

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151-a-14-(First lady Michelle Obama, speaking to parents and school officials)-"for junk food"-First lady Michelle Obama says the new marketing rules that the administration's proposing aim to encourage kids to eat healthier. (25 Feb 2014)

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152-a-14-(First lady Michelle Obama, speaking to parents and school officials)-"fruits and vegetables"-First lady Michelle Obama says the idea is to remove at least some of the thousands of junk food ads kids see each week. (25 Feb 2014)

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153-a-12-(First lady Michelle Obama, speaking to parents and school officials)-"snack food aisle"-First lady Michelle Obama says the goal is to reinforce rules that are already improving the diet in school cafeterias and vending machines. (25 Feb 2014)

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154-a-12-(First lady Michelle Obama, speaking to parents and school officials)-"the new norm"-First lady Michelle Obama says her "Let's Move!" campaign -- celebrating its fourth anniversary this week -- has already made great strides in getting kids to eat better and exercise more. (25 Feb 2014)

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155-a-24-(First lady Michelle Obama, speaking to parents and school officials)-"pretty good, hollah! (laughter fades)"-First lady Michelle Obama says the spirit of the rules is best captured by a 'wrap song' -- that's wrap with a 'w' -- composed by kids at Marshall High School in Vienna, Virginia. (25 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO FLJA108: First lady Michelle Obama participates in zumba session at a Miami parks and recreation center during a visit to promote her "Let's Move" campaign Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Obama administration is moving to phase out junk food advertising on football scoreboards and elsewhere on school grounds, part of a broad effort to combat child obesity and create what Michelle Obama calls "a new norm" for today's schoolchildren and future generations. Obama announced that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Recreation and Park Association will serve more fruits and vegetables at after-school programs and ensure kids get 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day(AP Photo/Joel Auerbach) (25 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO FLJA106: First lady Michelle Obama participates in a yoga session at a Miami parks and recreation center to promote her "Let's Move" campaign Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Obama administration is moving to phase out junk food advertising on football scoreboards and elsewhere on school grounds, part of a broad effort to combat child obesity and create what Michelle Obama calls "a new norm" for today's schoolchildren and future generations. Obama announced that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Recreation and Park Association will serve more fruits and vegetables at after-school programs and ensure kids get 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day(AP Photo/Joel Auerbach) (25 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO WIMAN301: ADVANCE FOR RELEASE MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2014, AND THEREAFTER - In this Feb. 24, 2014 photo, ninth-grader Hunter Evenson, left, gets carrots and an apple as seventh-grader Tiffany Dombrowski decides on peaches from the healthy fruit and vegetable serving cart during lunch in the cafeteria at Wilson Junior High School in Manitowoc, Wis. Each student is required to take at least one-half cup of fruit or vegetable per the United States Department of Agriculture requirement. (AP Photo/Herald-Times Reporter, Sue Pischke) NO SALES (24 Feb 2014)

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