California city approves ‘healthy checkout’ ordinance, banning junk food at grocery checkouts

Calif. city approves ‘healthy checkout’ ordinance, banning junk food at grocery checkouts

BERKELEY, Calif. — A California city approved a law that would ban the display of certain high sugar and sodium “junk” foods from grocery store checkout lines.

Noting the health consequences of so-called impulse items like candy bars, chips, sodas and other snacks luring customers in last-ditch purchases at checkout lines, the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a “healthy checkout” ordinance Tuesday night, KGO reported.

“We’re not saying you can’t have these goods,” said Kate Harrison, a city council member. “We’re just saying they’re not going to be right at the eye level of your children when they walk into the store and you’re waiting in that long line at check out.”

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In March, items with 5 grams of added sugar or more and 250 milligrams of sodium per serving will be prohibited from being displayed in the checkout aisle of grocery stores. Enforcement of the changes would start in January 2022.

“We know that people that eat a lot of high-sugar and salty products have worse health outcomes and this particularly besets low income communities and people of color,” Harrison said.

The city previously passed a tax on soda in 2014, the first city in the country to do so, KGO reported.