Governor signs legislation that forbids the advertising of unhealthy foods in schools
STATE HOUSE — A bill sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, New Shoreham, South Kingstown) and Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that forbids the advertising of unhealthy foods to children in schools has been signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.
The law (2018-S 2350A, 2018-H 7419A), which takes effect immediately, prohibits the advertising of unhealthy food and beverage products in schools, particularly those that may not be sold on the school campus during the school day, since they do not meet the minimum nutrition standards.
Senator Sosnowski sponsored the initial legislation in 2006 that required the phase-out of unhealthy drinks and snacks from all public schools in Rhode Island.
Specifically, the new law forbids the advertising of food that does not meet the minimum nutritional standards set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Advertising is prohibited on any property or facility owned or leased by the school district or school and used at any time for school-related activities, including school buildings, athletic fields, facilities, signs, scoreboards, parking lots, school buses, vending machines, uniforms and educational materials.
A study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a dramatic increase in the number of obese children in the United States. The study found that more than 10 percent of preschool children between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight, up from 7 percent in 1994. Among children and teens ages 6 to 19, 15 percent (almost 9 million) are overweight, triple the figure that was reported in 1980.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903