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Soda Banned from County Machines

Under the new Wellness Policy, taxpayer funds cannot be used to purchase sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

San Mateo County has adopted a policy that bans the sale of sugary drinks in county vending machines and cafeterias, and at county-sponsored meetings.

Under the new Wellness Policy, taxpayer funds cannot be used to purchase sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages, county officials said in a statement released Monday.

“If we want healthy employees, we have to create a healthy environment,” Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson said in the statement.

“With our new Wellness Policy, we are not only demonstrating our commitment to the health of our employees. We are also providing a model for other employers in the county,” she said.

Sugar-sweetened beverages greatly contribute to obesity in San Mateo County, where 50 percent of adults and 25 percent of children are overweight or obese, according to county officials.

County officials say it's necessary to make a change in the drinks offered in order to combat rising disease rates on the Peninsula.

Many cities, counties and states are working to eliminate sugar-loaded beverages by limiting public funds spent on sugary drinks.

San Mateo County’s new Wellness Policy is a commitment to helping ensure the health of the public and more than 5,000 county employees, according to county officials.

Click here for the full text of San Mateo County’s Wellness Policy.

Rob Chapman October 18, 2011 at 08:35 PM
I thought San Francisco was the only "nanny county" in California. What's next? All employees are only allowed to eat salad? Are they going to ban salt? sugar for your coffee? Chocolate milk? Where does it end? Aren't county employees adults? Do they need their employer deciding what they should or shouldn't eat/drink?
DanC October 19, 2011 at 12:26 AM
After all that money Pepsi gave to the San Mateo/Foster City School District? The County is an old spoilsport.
Concerned Taxpayer October 19, 2011 at 09:48 PM
This is ridiculous. Well, if they want to keep county employees in a nanny state-type of environment so be it! I would like to see them immediately repeal those stupid EBT cards (Welfare/Food Stamps/WIC/etc) that are now being accepted at fast food restaurants, gas station minimarts, 7-Elevens, etc. They used to be banned from using Food Stamps on junk food or fast food but not any more! Wake up people!

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