The state Senate has approved a bill to ban the sale of sugar-sweetened sport drinks in the public schools during school hours.
The bill, SB 1255, would tighten a restriction that already forbids the sale of soft drinks but did not include electrolyte replacement beverages in the ban.
The author of the bill, Sen. Alex Padilla, called it a “common sense step” in the effort to address obesity in California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also supports the bill, which now moves to the Assembly.
Childhood obesity is the primary cause of type-2 diabetes and other long-term health problems. Studies have found that greater consumption of sweetened beverages is associated with weight problems and obesity among children and adults.
Padilla said California Department of Public Health studies show that electrolyte replacement beverages are replacing sodas as the beverage of choice for school-age children. Instead of replacing soda with water and other healthier beverages, Padilla said, students are buying sport drinks. Eight of the top 10 beverages sold a la carte in California public high schools are electrolyte replacement beverages, he said.