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Few would likely argue against making healthier food and drinks more available, easy to locate, and more affordable on public property. Finding healthier snacks and drinks on the go is no easy task. The Baltimore Sun is right to support CB 17-2015, the common sense bill introduced in Howard County by Councilman Calvin Ball ("A healthier Howard," April 29).

In almost all county vending machines under this legislation, if you want a Coke, you can buy a Coke. If you want Doritos, you can buy Doritos. This bill will simply add healthy choices to the mix of items sold so that you can choose healthy if it suits you. Better yet, all the healthier items will be grouped together at eye level so you can easily find them. And those who select healthier drinks, like water, will get a discount on the purchase. People in Howard County have been asking for better, more affordable choices in county vending machines for years, and Council Bill 17-2015 finally delivers them.

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This bill is a reasonable approach to help solve a growing public health crisis in our community where diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity are becoming all too common. It's time that Howard County join the 60-plus other communities that have taken steps to make healthy food and drinks more available on county property, including major cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Places that have done so report that new healthier choices are appreciated and that vending machine revenue either stays the same or goes up.

Glenn E. Schneider, Columbia

The writer is chief program officer of the Horizon Foundation.

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