Would you allow your child to eat 22 Starburst candies each day? California State Assemblymember Das Williams said in a statement that the amount of sugar in one bottle of a sports drink is equal to that amount of sweets. Williams recently introduced a bill that would ban the sale of sugary sports drinks on middle and high school campuses throughout California.
AB 1746 would amend the existing education code that already bans the sale of sodas in schools. Williams points to research showing that sodas and other beverages high in sugar are among the most prominent factors contributing to our nation’s obesity epidemic.
“One in three California students is overweight or obese. We know that sugar-sweetened beverages, including sports drinks, are a major contributor to the problem,” said Dr. James Hay, President of the California Medical Association. “There is a common misconception that sports drinks, also known as ‘electrolyte replacement beverages,’ are healthy, yet many contain high fructose corn syrup and/or other calorie-laden sweeteners that have been linked to the rise in childhood obesity, the primary cause of type-2 diabetes.”
“Sports drinks are an inappropriate option for California students,” said Dr. Harold Goldstein, Executive Director of the California Center for Public Health. “They were designed for athletes who have been sweating for an hour or more, not for children as they walk across campus or eat their lunch.”
In addition to this piece of legislation, Williams is also supporting the national Kick the Can campaign, a project of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. This campaign encourages businesses, schools, cities, counties, and government agencies to provide more nutritional options in vending machines.