House passes bill banning unhealthy food ads at RI schools

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is considering a proposal that would ban unhealthy foods and drinks from being advertised at schools.

The state House approved the bill Tuesday afternoon.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Joseph McNamara, says it would reinforce policies enacted years ago to get junk food and soda out of schools.

The nation’s largest beverage distributors agreed in 2006 to stop selling sodas to public schools, but McNamara’s bill would ban advertising by those corporate brands and others that sell products not considered healthy by U.S. Department of Agriculture standards.

It would prohibit advertising them at schools during the academic day and on anything used for school-related activities, such as athletic fields, scoreboards, uniforms or vending machines.

It would exempt advertising displays that are already a permanent fixture.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where similar legislation was submitted by Sen. Susan Sosnowski (D – New Shoreham, South Kingstown).

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.