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.