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Senate panel OKs state cafeteria food proposal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The American Heart Association is backing legislation in the Senate that would require cafeterias in state buildings, universities and community colleges to display nutritional facts on menus and offer food that meet with the organization's guidelines.

A Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday that would require cafeterias in state agency buildings to post the calorie, sodium and saturated fat count on their menus. Cafeterias also would have to offer healthier food options.

Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen of Des Moines, who heads the committee, says the bill follows the lead of Gov. Terry Branstad's initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016.

Though the proposed legislation would not ban any unhealthy foods, it could limit the portion size to stay within calorie restrictions.

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