Senate Committee Approves Bill to Ban Junk Food in Schools
The state Senate Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday approved a bill (SB 19) that would "ban the sale of soft drinks and severely limit the availability of junk food in schools," the Ventura County Star reports. Sponsored by state Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Montebello), the legislation would establish "nutritional requirements" for all foods sold outside of school meal programs, and in elementary schools, the legislation would prohibit the sale of food by any entity other than the school food service program (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 3/22). In addition, the measure would limit portions of fast food, which is offered in 95% of secondary school districts (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 3/22). Escutia said the bill is in response to an "epidemic" of youth obesity, which has led to a rise in diabetes. Opponents of the bill, including the state School Food Service Association, the California Nevada Soft Drink Association, Hershey Foods and Kellogg's, say the bill is "overly restrictive." The bill now moves to the Senate Education Committee (Ventura County Star, 3/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.