Press Release - Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz
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Ortiz Welcomes Soda Industry’s Announcement of Restrictions on Sales in Schools as a Good Start but Not Enough


(Albany NY) - Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), Chair of the Task Force on Food Farm and Nutrition Policy described the American Beverage Association’s decision to restrict sales of soda in schools as a good start but he would like the restrictions to apply in all schools during the entire school day and see standards for sports and fruit drinks that have just as many calories as soda and contribute to the obesity epidemic in our children.

"I want to give credit to the soda industry for moving in the right direction. However, in New York we have had these restrictions on soda sales in schools since 1987 so we will not notice any difference. I co-sponsor a bill that would expand existing school snack restrictions to ban candy, soda, other sugary drinks and certain snack foods from school the entire day in every school including high school. We need to look at all the drinks sold in school. Many of these companies sell fruit drinks and sports drinks that have as much or more calories and sugar than soda. We cannot take a piecemeal approach. We need a comprehensive plan," said Ortiz.

Assemblyman Ortiz sponsored the NYS Childhood Obesity Prevention program law, now funded at $3 million and also sponsors bills to: require nutrition labeling on chain restaurant menus; tax snack foods, video games and TV ads aimed at children; require health insurance coverage for Medical Nutrition Therapy; and, increase the quality and quantity of physical education in schools.

"I would also urge the soda companies to support my chain restaurant nutrition labeling bill which would help parents and children make better choices when eating out. Bottled soda and other drinks list the number of calories; the same information should be available when ordering drinks with meals at the chain food establishments," added Ortiz.



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