LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s largest city will soon require restaurants to offer healthy food on its children’s menus.
The Courier Journal reports the Louisville Metro Council voted 13-11 this week to approve a city ordinance that says restaurants can only sell a children’s menu if it offers certain healthy items.
The new rules would require restaurants to sell things like non-fried fruit or vegetables, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, dry beans and water without added natural or artificial sweeteners.
Restaurants could face a $100 civil penalty for not following the rules. Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer has said he will sign the ordinance into law.
The American Heart Association says 12 other cities have similar laws, mostly in California. The Louisville health department says nearly 25 percent of the city’s 6th graders and 18 percent of kindergartners are obese.
"While this is by no means a silver bullet, enabling parents who want to make healthy choices for their children is an important step," said Councilman Rick Blackwell, a Democrat who co-sponsored the measure. "This ordinance does not require parents to order healthy options for their children, rather it provides them a healthy option if they so choose."
Council members who voted against the proposal said they support the goals of the proposal but said it’s not the city’s job to tell people how to eat.
"Here we go again, this is a government overreach," said Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, a Democrat. "We continue to tell parents what they need to do with their children."
Sponsors introduced the ordinance last month and faced pushback. They say they made changes after meeting with the Kentucky Beverage Association, McDonald’s Corporation and Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce.
Information from: Courier Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com
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