May 24, 2005 – Lawmakers in the Connecticut House voted last week to forbid corporations from marketing some beverages and food to students in all public schools.
The measure, which passed by a vote of 88-55, would ban non-diet soft drinks and junk food from cafeterias, vending machines and school stores. The bill would also require elementary schoolchildren to engage in 20 minutes of physical activity outside of the regular gym class.
Supporters of the legislation claim that companies are preying on impressionable young people, taking advantage of them as a captive market. They argue the law is needed to combat obesity in school-age children.
Opponents insist that the measure is unfair to students and corporations. They say the change would have no impact on obesity, particularly when school cafeterias will still offer high-fat meals.
The National Conference of State Legislatures noted that Connecticut's ban would be the broadest of more than a dozen introduced in other states this year.
The bill heads to the state Senate this week where it is expected to pass.