AUSTIN, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Schools all across the country could be forced to give their vending machines a makeover if new proposed guidelines by the USDA are made into law. Something Austin High School administrators are already dealing with.
Principal Brad Bergstrom says, "We're trying very hard to balance kids needs and wants versus what it is we have to provide for students."
Austin High School has six drink machines and two snack machines. Senior Anna Engelman says she opts for water throughout the day.
Engelman says, "It actually quenches your thirst and doesn't leave you wanting more."
While administrators want to offer healthy options they also believe high schoolers are at a level they can make an educated decision on what to put into their bodies.
Bergstrom says, "Now I think kids are much more aware of putting good food into their bodies is something that will be helpful for them long term. At the high school level they've had several years of health courses."
The school actually makes a small profit off the items sold.
Bergstrom explains, "We utilize the profits that are made to provide things for the kids. Sometimes it's something as simple as student council will need something for a dance or for an activity that they're involved in. Other times we use it to get things for teachers and their classrooms that we wouldn't be able to do if it wasn't for the vending machine dollars."
Whether it's skipping breakfast or athletes needing more calories before practice the vending machines give students a way to fuel the body and mind.
Bergstrom says, "For some of our kids the meals that they get at the school are the only meals they're going to get through the course of the day so we want to make sure that we give them every opportunity to have something healthy to eat."
Yet, even as the nation becomes more health conscious, the American Heart Association found in 2012 that one in three kids between ages 2 and 19 are overweight or obese.
The new guidelines would not apply to celebrations. For examples, students would be allowed to bring in cupcakes to share for a birthday.
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