Move over Bloomberg.
Los Angeles parks and libraries could soon be soda-free.
When Councilman Mitch Englander discovered that his daughter was unable to buy anything but sugar-packed sodas in a city park vending machine, he introduced a motion to ban them.
Englander pitched his proposed soda ban at parks and libraries to the city’s Arts, Parks, Health & Aging Committee on Tuesday, CBS reports.
The council member, who serves as president of the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association, talked about how sugary sodas increase rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. He demonstrated that a 20-ounce soda bottle contains about 22 packets of sugar, Encino Patch reports.
“Here in the city of Los Angeles, one in four children is obese,” Englander said to KTLA. “In many of our communities, it’s one in three.” Sodas can also affect young people mentally, he added, even sometimes increasing violence towards others.
Englander’s proposed ban, which he hopes to have approved sometime this summer, heard immediate opposition from the American Beverage Association, which flew representatives from Washington, D.C. to attend the meeting, ABC reports.
“A ban on soda [in] city parks and libraries will do nothing to improve obesity, and it does nothing to educate consumers about nutrition,” said David Thorpe, a representative of the American Beverage Association.