SACRAMENTO - California passed a law banning junk food in public schools 10 years ago and now the city of Sacramento will decide whether to follow suit.
Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty came up with the idea to take the issue to the city council Tuesday night. He wants sugary sodas and high-fat snacks to be replaced with healthier food, water, milk and juices at city hall, city community centers, parks and city-run after school programs.
"There are consequences for what kids put in their system. This is not a nanny government issue," McCarty said. "The city of Sacramento and the surrounding area loses $300 million a year because obesity (results) in higher health care costs and lower productivity."
The proposal to ban junk food has sparked a lot of debate. Chris Baca said, "Whatever is available, people are going to eat, I think if they're steered toward the right things it's going to help."
Richard Tedford agreed. He said, "The city should be putting its best foot forward and offering things like apples and oranges in vending machines."
But plenty of people believe the government needs to butt out. Grady Howard of Rancho Cordova said, "When do we stop. Let's just ban everything but the water fountain."
David Barnes chimed in, "It's about choices. We should have as many as possible. People have a choice to go to the vending machine. Obesity is a personal issue."
McCarty said his initiative is part of the Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) resolution the city council approved recently. Sacramento is one of 100 California cities to join the HEAL movement.
By Karen Massie, firstname.lastname@example.org