Healthy Choices in Texas Schools: Legislation Enjoys TBA Support

Once again, Texas has shown itself to be a model for the nation when it comes to collaborative solutions to promote children’s health while respecting families and consumer choice.

This week, the Texas Legislature adopted HB 217, which aligns with TBA’s commitment to healthy choices for young people and supports the industry’s efforts to deliver healthy choices in Texas schools. The Texas Beverage Association supports the final version of HB 217 and appreciates the opportunity to work with the bill’s author Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) and sponsor Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) in developing this legislation.

Contrary to some common misperceptions — including some seen in the media this week — carbonated beverages have not been sold in Texas schools during school hours for years. HB 217 outlines the low and no-calorie beverage choices available during the school day to Texas elementary and middle school students, while preserving the ability of young adults in high school to have more choices.

Both in Texas and across the nation, the beverage industry has worked on many fronts to promote children’s health, physical activity, and weight management. The industry’s School Beverage Guidelines have, over the last decade, led to an 88 percent reduction in the calorie count of beverages shipped to schools.