Assembly Bill 841 Restricting Junk Food Marketing in Schools Passes Assembly Education Committee

Thursday, May 11, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA, May 11, 2017… AB 841 (Weber D-San Diego), a bill to restrict marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages in schools, cleared its first legislative hurdle yesterday. The bill passed the California Assembly Health Committee 5-1, with the support of all Democrats on the committee.

“California took an important step forward in protecting kids from being bombarded with advertising for unhealthy foods and beverages,” says Flojaune G. Cofer, Research and State Policy Manager at Public Health Advocates, a cosponsor of the bill. “Schools are places of learning. They should promote healthy habits, not serve as advertising venues for large corporations trying to push unhealthy food on kids.”

AB 841 restricts advertising of certain foods and beverages in schools that do not meet the nutrition standards already set by the 2016 Healthy Food, Healthy Student Act in California. The Healthy Food, Healthy Student Act set nutrition guidelines for food that can be sold or served in schools. AB 841 brings advertising restrictions in line with these nutrition standards.

“Schools are places of learning and should be safe havens where students go to prepare for their future as healthy and productive citizens,” Weber said. “AB 841helps ensure that schools are places were youth receive a consistent set of messages about healthy eating.”

“The American Heart Association thanks Dr. Weber for her leadership in making children’s health a priority. We know that marketing unhealthy foods to children is powerful and affects food preferences.  AB 841 simply ensures consistent messaging in schools during the school day while promoting healthy eating habits,” said Dr. Alan Shatzel, neurologist and board president for the American Heart Association Sacramento division, and co-sponsor of the bill.

The bill is set to be heard on the Assembly floor later this month.