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U.S. Senate Bill Introduced to Ban the Sale of Soda & Junk Food in Schools

Commercial Alert, October 6, 2004

Finally ­ in response to the childhood obesity epidemic -- a U.S. Senator
has stepped forward with a bill to ban the sale of soda pop and junk food in
schools.

We've been waiting years for this.

The bill is called the "Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act" (S. 2894). It
was introduced yesterday by U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

The bill has some excellent provisions, several of which mirror our own
Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda
(http://www.commercialalert.org/copa.pdf). Most importantly, the bill would
require schools that receive federal funds to establish polices to "ban
vending machines that sell foods of poor or minimal nutritional value," such
as soda, soft drinks and candy. It would provide grants preferentially to
schools that (1) prohibit the advertising or marketing of junk food, or (2)
provide food options low in fat, calories and added sugars, such as fruits,
vegetables and whole grains, or (3) encourage the consumption of water in
school by maintaining a minimum number of water fountains.

Other non-school provisions are quite good, too. The bill would implement
recommendations from an Institute of Medicine study on childhood obesity
(http://www.iom.edu/report.asp?id=22596) to convene a national summit on
food advertising and marketing guidelines (and the marketing of "practices
that promote sedentary behavior," such as TV and video games), and authorize
the Federal Trade Commission to enact rules to enforce the guidelines.

Doubtless, our nation¹s obesity lobby (our largest food and beverage
companies, media conglomerates and advertising agencies) will do everything
they can to oppose the legislation. And in Washington, they carry a lot of
weight (pardon the pun...) so we really need your help.

What you can do to help
1) Contact your U.S. Senators today in support of the Prevention of
Childhood Obesity Act (S. 2894). The congressional switchboard phone is
202.225.3121. To send emails to your senators in support of the bill, click
here: http://actionstudio.org/?go=949 <http://actionstudio.org/?go=949>

2) Forward this email to everyone you know who cares about children, and ask
them to act on it.

Background
A summary of the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act is at:
http://www.commercialalert.org/pcoasum.pdf
Text of the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act is at:
http://www.commercialalert.org/pcoa.pdf

Commercial Alert's childhood obesity web page is at:
http://www.commercialalert.org/index.php/category_id/5/subcategory_id/72/art
icle_id/176

About Commercial Alert
Commercial Alert is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to
keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from
exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community,
environmental integrity and democracy. For more information, or to become a
member, go to http://www.commercialalert.org.

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