ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman signed an executive order on Thursday, repealing the county’s ban on the sale of sugar sweetened beverages.

The order is effective immediately.

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Initially, the ban prohibited the sale of sugar sweetened drinks on county property and county-sponsored events.

“We fully support efforts to control obesity and disease caused by poor eating habits, and to encourage regular exercise,” Kittleman said. “But there is an appropriate role for government to play, and this ban clearly overstepped that role.”

Kittleman said he believes county government partnering with non-profit organizations such as, Horizon Foundation, play a role in educating residents about the value of good nutrition.

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“Better education is the key to dealing with this issue, not simple bans,” Kittleman said. “Intelligent choices on nutrition and dietary practices should be the goal of all citizens, especially of parents for their children.”

Kittleman urgess people to bring him other recommendations to help residents improve and maintain healthy lifestyles.

“Banning someone from purchasing soda at a county park isn’t going to change their health habits,”  Kittleman said. “Getting them motivated to take responsibility for their own health and well-being will make a larger difference in the long run.”

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