The Obama administration will begin a drive this week to expel Pepsi, French fries, and Snickers bars from the nation’s schools in hopes of reducing the number of children who get fat during their school years, reports the New York Times. In legislation soon to be introduced, candy and sugary beverages would be banned and many schools would be required to offer more nutritious fare. To that end, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver a speech Feb. 8 at the National Press Club in which he will insist, according to excerpts provided to the Times, that any vending machines that remain in schools be “filled with nutritious offerings to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our nation’s children.” But Republican support for the initiative is far from certain, with many Republicans saying they will wait to see legislation before signaling whether they would put aside long-held views that local school boards should control food offerings…

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staff and wire services reports