For too many years, Los Angeles city schools were purveyors of empty-calorie, health-jeopardizing, sugary soda pop, sold to captive audiences of young students who were forming the eating and drinking habits they would take with them into adulthood. The
experiencing increases in
Englander's proposal is nothing like the clunky, nanny-state tactics of New York
At a Tuesday hearing, vending machine operators complained, predictably, that a ban would cost them money and jobs. And to be sure, the city library and parks vending machine contracts are huge, and they supply drink companies with thousands of thirsty potential customers. But no one is suggesting tossing out the vending machines. They could and should be stocked with more wholesome options.
Others testified that too little fresh, clean — and free — water is available at city facilities. Drinking fountains used to be commonplace but are harder to find. Properly operated and maintained, they need not be public health hazards. Los Angeles, after all, owns and operates a water utility, and shouldn't we make its product more freely available to young (and middle-aged and old) athletes and readers? We should — and the council should make sure its study addresses how to make certain that city parks and libraries supply enough opportunities for a fresh drink of water even to those who don't want to stuff a dollar in a machine.