IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

California bans soda in public high schools

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation to ban carbonated soda in state high schools as part of an effort to stem teen obesity.
SCHWARZENEGGER
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at the Governor's Summit on Health, Nutrition, and Obesity, at Cal Expo in Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 15, where he signed legislation banning soda in public high schools.Max Whittaker / AP
/ Source: Reuters

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Thursday to ban carbonated soda in state high schools as part of an effort to stem teen obesity.

“California is facing an obesity epidemic,” said Schwarzenegger, a former Mr. Olympia and long-time health advocate. “Today we are taking some first steps in creating a healthy future for California.”

He signed the legislation at the start of a daylong summit on health and obesity in the California capital Sacramento. He said that one out of three children in California, the nation’s most populous state, is obese.

“Obesity-related health problems cost us $28 billion a year,” Schwarzenegger said. “We are going to terminate obesity in California once and for all.”

The new law allows milk, drinks with at least 50 percent fruit or vegetable juice and drinking water without sweetener. It would be phased in from 2007 and take full effect in 2009.

The ban, already in existence in California’s elementary schools, will cost school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income.

At present, soda is sold through vending machines and cafeterias in most California public high schools.

Another bill signed by Schwarzenegger on Thursday would boost spending on fruits and vegetables in school meals.