California city bans junk food from checkout aisles

Photo: VCG

Berkeley in northern California will ban the sale of junk food from supermarket checkout displays – becoming the first US city to do so, according to local media.

The city council unanimously passed a bill this week to promote healthier eating, by prohibiting products with over 5 grams of added sugar or 250 mg of sodium from checkout aisles. 

Drinks high in sugar and artificial sweeteners will also be restricted.

“The healthy checkout ordinance is essential for community health, especially in the time of COVID-19,” said council member Kate Harrison.

The ordinance noted that cheap, unhealthy food dominates checkout displays, where “shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases and where parents struggle with their children over demands to buy treats.”

The ban will affect 25 large supermarkets in the university city of around 120,000 people from March, 2021.

According to a study in 2019, Berkeley residents reduced their consumption of soft drinks by half by 2017.

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