October 23, 2020

Healthy Mind

Health First

Berkeley bans grocery shops from placing sweet at checkout aisles, requires healthier snacks in its place

2 min read

The Berkeley City Council has handed an ordinance that bars grocery outlets from marketing sweet and soda at checkout lines and instead encourages the sale of wholesome snacks these types of as fruit, nuts and drinks with no extra sugars.

The ordinance, passed unanimously Tuesday night, applies to vendors with shops larger than 2,500 sq. ft and will affect chains that function in Berkeley this kind of as Safeway and Trader Joe’s. Proponents of the ordinance state that the rule will inspire much healthier foods intake alternatives.

“The healthful checkout ordinance is necessary for group well being, especially in the time of COVID-19,” said Berkeley Town Council member Kate Harrison, one particular of the ordinance’s co-authors. “What is fantastic for Berkeley clients is also very good for our organizations.”

The initiative was backed by the Center for Science in the Public Desire, a countrywide customer advocacy team.

“Many dad and mom of coloration in Berkeley are apprehensive since they are seeing a increase in diabetic issues in the group and they worry for their children’s life,” Monique Blodgett, a Berkeley mom and neighborhood activist said in a CSPI launch touting the ordinance’s passage. “I consider wholesome checkout lanes would make a huge change for Berkeley families and support folks gain additional confidence searching. It would also show that their neighborhood cares about them and their health.”

Underneath the ordinance, only meals items with no extra than 5 grams of additional sugars or 250 milligrams of sodium per serving will be authorized at checkout aisles. This will reduce the usual assortment of candies, chips, sodas and gum consumers ordinarily see while paying out.

The new ordinance goes into effect March 1, 2021, but enforcement will not commence until finally Jan. 1, 2022.

Eric Ting is an SFGATE reporter. E mail: [email protected] | Twitter:@_ericting

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