Five state groups ask Walker to veto soda ban provisionHealth groups want Governor Scott Walker to veto a budget provision that would protect super-sized sodas from local regulation.
By: By Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Health groups want Governor Scott Walker to veto a budget provision that would protect super-sized sodas from local regulation.
Rep. Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, put a provision in the budget that would prevent municipalities from restricting sales of food or drink based on calories, size or other nutritional criteria. Last month she related how she'd heard Stevens Point and Madison were considering soda size limits.
“When I want to go to the movie theater and get that big thing of soda and the biggest popcorn I can get to have that an experience at the movie theater … I want to make sure I can continue to have that experience,” Strachota said.
Mark Woulf is the food and alcohol policy coordinator for city of Madison.
“We're not looking at any sugar-sweetened beverage ban citywide, but we would like at ways to provide healthier options for kids,” Woulf said.
He says the city is looking at what's offered in school vending machines and those at the municipal pool. Woulf doesn't think the budget provision would prevent Madison from doing that, but the city supports local control.
A group called Health First Wisconsin is among five statewide groups that have asked the governor to veto the provision. Executive director Maureen Busalacchi says public health is at stake.
“We have an obesity epidemic in this state and this is a call for all hands on deck,” she said. “Let’s do what we do well in Wisconsin and let our local governments lead.”
Health First Wisconsin says each year, adults who are obese rack up $1,400 more in medical expenses than people who aren’t.