LA City Council Considers Banning Park and Library Soda Machines
A Los Angeles City Councilman is pushing for a motion that would ban sale of soda from city park and library vending machines. The Councilman, Mitchell Englander, said that he decided that the ban was a fantastic idea after his daughter had no options other than soda at the park. The motion itself is an over-the-top condemnation of soda:
Sodas are laden with sugar and caffeine and have proven to be the least healthy beverage for young children and teenagers. Sugar and caffeine could impact behavior, and teens drinking lots of soda could be missing important nutrients in their diet. Not only do sodas provide absolutely no nutritional value, but the lack of nutrition and damaging ingredients affect young people both mentally and physically.
The motion suggests that soda causes violence against peers and girlfriends and boyfriends. It also states that soda has a “direct impact … on obesity, especially for the country’s children.” The motion further notes that the Los Angeles Unified School District banned soda sale on campus in 2002. The motion concludes:
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.
Following hot on the heels of similar moves by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Councilman’s motion will undoubtedly set off dispute about the proper role of government in restricting citizen nutritional choice.