The amount of sugar and fat in food served up to children in Californian schools is set to be restricted after the senators voted 22-15 to approve a bill by Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Commerce.

The bill was created in response to fears about the growing numbers of inactive, obese and unhealthy school age children. Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento explained that these overweight children will suffer from health problems such as diabetes and heart disease: "These are children who will burden our health care system in the next ten, 20 and 30 years."

In terms of drinks on offer, the bill seeks to ban the serving of carbonated beverages, fruit juices with added sweeteners and sports drinks with over 25g of sweeteners, for the time between a half hour either side of the school day. In elementary schools meanwhile, children will only be allowed water, fruit juice or milk.

Snacks-wise, no more than 35% of the calories present in the snacks and sweets offered at school is allowed to come from fat, and no more than 35% of their weight must come from sugar.

Opposing the bill however, Sen. Ray Haynes, R-Temecula, believed that the limits on foodstuffs within school will simply encourage children to eat more at home. Instead, he argued that lawmakers should be focusing on limiting the access of students to condoms, abortions and pornography.

Haynes told the Associated Press: "I never thought we would be fast-food fascists. This bill goes just a little bit too far. It's a little bit too intrusive."
 

Read more about the SB19 bill in full, click here.