“I want to make this a healthier choice, the easier choice in people’s daily lives, whether it’s the schools, the work sites or other places in the community,” Menino said.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports
The mayor’s office, along with the Boston Public Health Commission, said Menino is issuing this order because of the link between sugary drinks and rising obesity rates and health care costs.
“There are high costs associated with these high rates of unhealthy weight, both at the personal level in terms of poor health outcomes, and at the societal level in terms of decreases in worker productivity and the rising health care costs,” said Barbara Ferrer of the Boston Public Health Commission.
The order “sets science-based standards for what’s considered a healthy beverage and what can be sold or served on City property,” according to a city press release.
The policy applies to cafeterias, vending machines, concession stands, and beverages served at meetings, City-run programs, and events where food is purchased with City dollars.
Back in 2004, Menino banned soda and junk food from being sold in public school vending machines, and now he’s taking his battle city-wide.
“Now is the time to expand our efforts that began in our public schools and set an example for the city as a whole,” Mayor Menino said, referring to the 2004 ban.
The mayor hopes the city takes steps over the next six months to phase out the sale of the sugary beverages, which are labeled in three categories:
After a six-month grace period, city buildings will be required to phase out the sale of these so-called “red” beverages, like:
- Non-diet sodas
- Pre-sweetened ice teas
- Refrigerated coffee drinks
- Energy drinks
- Juice drinks with added sugar
- Sports drinks
The promotion of these “red” beverages on City property will also be banned.
The order allows for the sale of “yellow” beverages, but advises consumers to drink them occasionally:
- Diet sodas
- Diet iced teas
- 100 percent juices
- Low-calorie sports drinks
- Low-sugar sweetened beverages
- Sweetened soymilk
- Flavored, sweetened milk
These “green” beverages can continue to be sold:
- Bottled water
- Flavored and unflavored seltzer water
- Low-fat milk
- Unsweetened soymilk
The Boston Public Health Commission has developed a guide for City workers and visitors to help them make a healthier choice, along with the slogan: “Stop. Rethink Your Drink. Go on Green.”