Schwarzenegger urges that soda and junk food be banned from public schools

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by [email protected], Jan 18, 2005.

  1. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/01/18/EDGT7AQRRK1.DTL

    EDITORIAL
    Banning junk food

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005



    GOV. ARNOLD Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature should be
    able to agree on at least one thing: getting rid of junk food in the
    schools.

    Schwarzenegger last week criticized the Legislature for sending him a
    bill last year that he vetoed because it didn't go far enough. In a
    meeting with The Chronicle editorial board, he said the bill would have
    required schools to label junk foods, instead of eliminating them
    altogether. He implied the bill wasn't tougher because legislators were
    afraid to take on a food industry that promotes unhealthy products.

    "If you want to get rid of junk food, just pass a law that says you are
    not going to have any junk food in the schools ... because it is
    destroying our kids," he said. Such a law should tell schools "you are
    going to have to sell vegetables and fresh milk and water, no more
    Coca-Cola."

    Schwarzenegger seems to be ahead of the Legislature on this issue. In
    2003, for example, the Legislature approved a bill eliminating
    sugar-laden sodas from school vending machines -- but only from
    elementary and middle schools, not high schools, where most unhealthy
    drinks are peddled.

    Schwarzenegger said when he was head of the President's Council on
    Physical Fitness and Sports 15 years ago, he found that almost every
    school he visited had vending machines filled with sodas and candy, or
    sold unhealthy foods such as doughnuts.

    He said attempts to eliminate these products would elicit protests from
    school officials who "will scream 'We're getting money from Coca-Cola
    for our sports programs.' " They should be told, he said, to "find the
    money somewhere else."

    Schwarzenegger's advocacy of a comprehensive ban on junk food in
    schools should give a boost to lawmakers such as Sens. Gloria Romero,
    D-Los Angeles, and Martha Escutia, D-Whittier, who have encountered
    industry resistance to even the most modest proposals to regulate food
    in school.

    The governor and legislators should work together in crafting
    legislation that will put California at the forefront of promoting
    healthier eating habits, beginning in our schools.

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