Howard County in Maryland follows Bloomberg’s lead and bans sugary drinks completely from county property and events

Officials there point to the obesity epidemic and other health problems in announcing a partial soda ban.  And, not just sodas.

County Executive Ken Ulman in signing the order said it’s a matter of “leading by example.”

The new restrictions apply to sale and distribution on county sites such as public parks, government buildings, and libraries, or at county-sponsored events.

Schools cut off access to sugary drinks on site a few years ago in Howard County.

Drinks that are allowed must have fewer than 5 calories per serving.  Ulman said beverage vending machines will “be different” as a result of the new rules.


The kickoff for the new policy in Howard County included a ceremonial dumping of nearly 10 tons of white sand that stood for the amount of sugar typically consumed by students in a year if each student were to drink one 12 ounce high test sugary soda per day.

Doing this “for the children” will cause adults to not be able to choose soft drinks on county property or at county events. Apparently it’s only soft drinks however. Presumably this includes all the tourist events that Howard County Tourism promotes as well as events sponsored by Parks & Recreation. So, if you’re going to be a DD at Wine in the Woods next year, plan on drinking water. Baltimore City is apparently looking at adopting the same nanny-state policy. I guess the people are too dumb to make their own choices or to decide for their children.

The Baltimore Sun has more details:

Under the order, all beverages procured, served or sold by county departments must meet the new standards, which limit the number of calories per serving for soft drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, milk and milk substitutes, and fruit- and vegetable-based drinks. Sweetened beverages must have fewer than 5 calories per serving.

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is a native South Carolinian who moved to the Baltimore area in 2006. He has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. His work experience includes radio news reporting, web design for government agencies at the state and federal level, and working in social media and communications for a DC public policy organization. Quinton is a military veteran of the Army National Guard (where he served as an intelligence analyst)a nd an Eagle Scout.