Citing the city's need to address childhood obesity, Councilman Mitch Englander (CD12) has proposed a motion to the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee that would disallow the placement of soda vending machines in public parks and libraries, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Englander's motion states:
As a City, we need to lead by example by making soda unavailable in our recreation and library facilities, Children cannot be blamed for poor nutritional choices, but as adults, we must limit those choices in City facilities known for children and teenage recreation. Therefore, we should ban soda in City Library and Park vending machines. The elimination of sodas in Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) vending machines will not put an end to childhood obesity, but it is a small step in educating the public about healthier food and beverage choices.
In stating his case for the elimination of soda vending machines, Englander noted that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has banned the sale of sugary sodas on their property since 2002.
"The RAP oversees hundreds of vending machines located on City-owned land in or around RAP facilities," Englander wrote in the motion. "Although most of these machines are maintained by private contractors, RAP as the facility operators should have the authority to disallow the selling of sodas in these machines."
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 17-percent of America's children were obese in 2009-2010. The CDC also notes that "empty calories from added sugars and solid fats contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and adolescents aged 2–18 years, affecting the overall quality of their diets. Approximately half of these empty calories come from six sources: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk."
The Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee continued Englander's motion for 45 days on Tuesday, pending a report from the city's Chief Legislative Analyst.