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LincolnparkRed
05-25-2005, 10:38 AM
Article taken from the a buddy of mine who writes a blog site


Soda Ban
The state of Connecticut is on the verge of banning all soda in its public schools.

The state can do what it likes with its schools, of course, but like most top-down remedies for what are ultimately personal decisions (I'll leave it up to someone else to determine if they're "good" or "bad" decisions), this one is ill-conceived, won't do much to address the actual problem, and will likely be counter-productive.

Here's why:

Caloric intake among children has largely remained stagnant over the last 25 years. It's increased by about one percent.
To the extent that kids are getting fat, they're getting fat because they aren't moving as much as they once did -- activity levels have dropped 12 percent over the same period.
Most schools use the extra income generated from exlusive contracts with soda companies and soda vending machines to fund physical education programs, intramural sports, and "B" and "C" level varsity sports. Meaning if you take that money away, more kids are probably going to be less active. Which means they're going to get bigger.
Even if kids were taking in more calories, soda isn't the culprit. Studies show that kids who frequently drink soda actually weigh less on average than kids who don't, or who drink it infrequently. Another study shows that, on average, kids in schools with vending machines consume a little over one can of soda per week. That's hardly enough to make them obese.
Yet more studies show that even if you restrict the number of calories kids take in during the school day, they'll make for it by eating more once they get home.
Most schools keep the machines turned off during the day. Some turn them on during lunch, but most only allow students to access the machines before or after the school day. Kids who patronize the machines during these times are also kids most likely to be involved in extra-curricular activities. That is, they're active. Meaning they're probably not the kids lawmakers have in mind when they pass these kinds of laws. Right now, you essentially have a system where active, sports-oriented kids are patronizing the machines, which generates money for phys-ed and intramural programs that get less active kids sweating and exercising.
But in a fit of moral panic, lawmakers have decided to ban the machines, or at least make them less lucrative by taking out the soda.

That cuts off the funding to programs aimed at the non-varisty crowd.

Real smart. Do-gooder government in action.

M2
05-25-2005, 11:19 AM
I'm amazed there's soda in school at all. I graduated from a Connecticut high school 20 years ago and, even back in the days when ketchup was a vegetable, you couldn't get carbonated sugar water at school.

In general I'm all for not serving crap to our kids. I'm also not real big into marketing kids in what's supposed to be a learning environment. I suppose you could make a lot of money with a cigarette machine too, or an Abercrombie & Fitch school store. It goes to something Bob Costas has said about baseball - not everything's for sale.

registerthis
05-25-2005, 11:22 AM
Applause to the CT dept. of education for going through with this. It's just ridiculous the garbage that kids are fed in schools.

RBA
05-25-2005, 11:22 AM
Does your buddy also work for a Soda company. :)

LincolnparkRed
05-25-2005, 11:25 AM
Does your buddy also work for a Soda company. :)

No he runs a site called the agitator, kinda of a libertarian slanted site on politics and society

RedFanAlways1966
05-25-2005, 11:27 AM
I went to a public school northwest of Dayton. I graduated from HS in 1984. Not once in my 13 years (K thru 12) did my elementary, Junior High or High School have soda in the school. No vending machines and no soda sold in the cafeteria. Your drinking options were white milk, chocolate milk, an orange drink thing and water. That was it. And my parents allowed us to drink as much soda at home as we pleased. Never once, however, was I bothered by not having soda in school. Never was there... so it was a part of the normal routine.

So why should soda be a big to do? Why should the public care about such a non-important issue? I really do not know. School is about providing education to students. It is not about what I can or cannot drink while I am there. But it seems typical in "today's society" for non-issues like this to be a big to do. I equate this to adults who like beer. Do they get the choice to drink their desired beverage while at work? Probably not.

The whole "soda funds things" does not sit well with me. If kids want to participate in something that the school cannot pay for, then they or their parents should pay the fee to participate. NOT VENDING MACHINE MONEY.

I participated in lots of after-school activities back in the day. Never had vending machines, as I stated above. I and the others with me at the time somehow survived the after school activities w/out the all-important vending machines.

macro
05-25-2005, 11:27 AM
Most schools use the extra income generated from exlusive contracts with soda companies and soda vending machines to fund physical education programs, intramural sports, and "B" and "C" level varsity sports. Meaning if you take that money away, more kids are probably going to be less active. Which means they're going to get bigger.

Couldn't schools just sign exclusive contracts with bottled water and/or sports drink companies, then?


Even if kids were taking in more calories, soda isn't the culprit. Studies show that kids who frequently drink soda actually weigh less on average than kids who don't, or who drink it infrequently. Another study shows that, on average, kids in schools with vending machines consume a little over one can of soda per week. That's hardly enough to make them obese.
Yet more studies show that even if you restrict the number of calories kids take in during the school day, they'll make for it by eating more once they get home.

Where are these studies? Who conducted them? Couldn't author cite references? His saying it's so doesn't make it so.


Most schools keep the machines turned off during the day. Some turn them on during lunch, but most only allow students to access the machines before or after the school day...Right now, you essentially have a system where active, sports-oriented kids are patronizing the machines...

Again, where's the proof of that?

My high school banned carbonated soda altogether back in 1980, in favor of fruit juice. I'm not sure how that really helped, since fruit juice has just as many calories as soda, but anyway...

If kids are thirsty, they'll probably choose to buy whatever is in the vending machine over slurping out of the public fountain, so I don't think the "revenue" angle really holds water (no pun intended).

M2
05-25-2005, 11:32 AM
IMO, some of the necessity for vending machines comes from overprotective boomer parents who decided that if you use a water fountain you'll catch ebola.

paintmered
05-25-2005, 11:42 AM
Where I went to high school, a Pepsi contract paid for a new football scoreboard, pressbox and part of a new concession stand a few years ago.

Roy Tucker
05-25-2005, 11:42 AM
Our school district cut out soda a couple years back from parent pressure. Milk, OJ, and water is it. Maybe Gatorade or whatever sports drink de jour, I'm not certain.

To me, this is a no-brainer. These aren't free choice adults, these are children that need guidance in a wide variety of ways. Nutrition is one of those ways.

TeamDunn
05-25-2005, 11:43 AM
Like RFA we never had access to soda machines from grades 1-12. However, in grade school if you could fake a tummy ache bad enough you would get one of those little tiny Coke bottles! :thumbup:

My high school had a soda machine in the cafeteria but it was supposed to be unplugged during school hours. Some days it was, some days it was not. No one was allowed to get one at lunch time though...but some did sneak.

If you had a study hall class in the cafeteria then the teacher in charge of the study hall would let us get a soda once a week if we had behaved the previous week. :p:

Bottled water machines would be cool. Especially if they were REALLY cold. We have bottled water at work (water cooler) and I bring in a water bottle, stick it in the freezer for two hours and it turns very icy. For whatever reason it goes down easier...and I hate water. :)

Less soda for kids the better, for their bones, their teeth...everything. :thumbup:

savafan
05-25-2005, 11:43 AM
I always packed my lunch and it always included Mountain Dew.

Unassisted
05-25-2005, 12:22 PM
My high school had a milkshake concession for awhile. No soda, though. Bottled water machines make a lot of sense, IMO.

The local middle school has machines with water and sports drinks.

Johnny Footstool
05-25-2005, 12:46 PM
Schools are underfunded, taxpayers won't shell out more money to support them, and lawmakers keep cutting education budgets.

So schools go the other route and start accepting corporate money in exchange for advertising and product placement. Now people are upset about that -- "Hey, don't be peddling crap onto my kids." Well, you've given them very few options.

BTW - is soda really more harmful than other vend-o-land confections? Keep in mind that diet sodas have no calories at all. Fruit juice contains just as many calories as soda plus (in most cases) citric acid to rot your teeth. I'm sure there are other vending machines with candy, chips, and other high-fat, high-calorie treats.

Roy Tucker
05-25-2005, 01:56 PM
Schools are underfunded, taxpayers won't shell out more money to support them, and lawmakers keep cutting education budgets.

So schools go the other route and start accepting corporate money in exchange for advertising and product placement. Now people are upset about that -- "Hey, don't be peddling crap onto my kids." Well, you've given them very few options.

BTW - is soda really more harmful than other vend-o-land confections? Keep in mind that diet sodas have no calories at all. Fruit juice contains just as many calories as soda plus (in most cases) citric acid to rot your teeth. I'm sure there are other vending machines with candy, chips, and other high-fat, high-calorie treats.
We let our kids drink pop. But we also keep bottles of water and juices around and steer them towards the healthier drinks.

And a completely subjective thing that I've observed backed by nothing but experience is that the more kids drink pop, the more they'll want to drink pop exclusively. You make it a treat instead of a staple and you break that cycle. I can control how much pop is at home and how much they drink. If it's available at school, I can't control that.

Many studies show soda consumption by children is a contributing factor for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health risks. Seeing the evidence, I don't understand why anyone would try to defend drinking soda? Are there other factors? Sure. But at least control the things you can control.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/11/earlyshow/contributors/emilysenay/main694473.shtml

Soda The Culprit In Kids' Obesity?

NEW YORK, May 11, 2005

(CBS) New research points to soft drinks as the leading cause of childhood obesity. The Early Show medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay talks about how all those extra calories can add up fast.

What makes childhood obesity so dangerous?

The danger is that overweight children develop the same problems as overweight adults. Problems such as insulin resistance, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can lead to serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease and a host of other problems.

Research published Wednesday in the Journal of Pediatrics places a big part of the blame for child obesity on the sugar in soda and sweetened drinks. Consider the numbers:

An average can of soda contains 165 calories, and a cup of sweetened juice contains about 100 calories.

The researchers say that the typical teen consumes approximately two 12-ounce cans of soft drinks per day, which adds up to 20 teaspoons of sugar or a whopping 300 calories.

That amount of sugar from just two cans of soda is about 20 percent of daily calorie intake, twice the recommended limit of 10 percent of calories from sugar. And if you add in additional sugars from sweetened drinks at home or school, that daily added calorie intake can easily go up as high as 40 percent of daily calories.

Researchers say altering calorie intake by just 100 calories a day (or 8 ounces of soft drinks) would be enough of an effort to prevent excessive weight gain.

It's natural for kids to want to consume drinks that taste good, and trying to get them to cut out soft drinks and other sugar-rich drinks altogether can be difficult, if not completely unrealistic. The researchers say that if kids can start making healthier choices, they also can compensate for the added calories from the occasional soft drink by increasing physical activity.

According to the researchers, the consumption of soft drinks in schools is thought to be a major contributor to obesity, with many schools contracting with soft drink companies and receiving incentives and profits from the arrangement.

The researchers say schools can help reduce calorie intake by concentrating more on nutrition classes, healthy meal programs, physical education and after-school sports. Vending machines can be removed or offer only healthy drinks and snacks.

As for other strategies that parents can use to prevent child obesity, Senay suggests teaching your children about healthy eating and exercise now, and setting a good example yourself. The best way to prevent diabetes is through good diet and regular exercise. The earlier in life you develop good habits, the better.

pedro
05-25-2005, 02:20 PM
My highschool in California didn't have a cafeteria. There was a snack bar kind of like you'd find at a public pool. We fled as often as possible.

letsgojunior
05-25-2005, 02:24 PM
I think if I ever have kids, they'll be allowed to drink soda on special occasions, but otherwise they'll get water, juice, tea, etc. I drank soda entirely too much when I was little, and have had numerous cavities as a result.

I'm not a big fan at all of diet sodas either. To me aspartame is almost as bad as sugar. The FDA has had more complaints about it than any other additives combined.

Johnny Footstool
05-25-2005, 04:07 PM
Many studies show soda consumption by children is a contributing factor for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health risks. Seeing the evidence, I don't understand why anyone would try to defend drinking soda?

Pastry consumption is also a contributing factor. And potato chip consumption. You have to wonder of those items are available in school vending machines alongside soda.

Calorie consumption is the real problem, or rather, calorie consumption without exercise. Sodas are one piece of the puzzle, true, but the bigger issue in keeping kids healthy is keeping them physically active. It seems like removing sodas from schools is like treating the symptom, but not the cause. Plus there's the unpleasant side effect of reduced funding.


To me aspartame is almost as bad as sugar. The FDA has had more complaints about it than any other additives combined.

According to several sources, those complaints are anecdotal and scientifically unfounded.

http://www.snopes.com/toxins/aspartame.asp

From a Time magazine article:


None of the specific allegations pan out, however. Among
the more outrageous claims:

--Aspartame leads to "methanol toxicity." Not even close. Trace
amounts of methanol exist naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and
a tiny amount is released whenever the body digests aspartame. But
there's four times as much methanol in a glass of tomato juice as in a
can of aspartame-sweetened soda, and our bodies have no trouble
handling such a tiny amount.

--Aspartame triggers headaches. Wrong again, says Susan Shiffman, a
medical psychologist at Duke University who conducted a double-blind
placebo-controlled trial of 40 "aspartame sensitive" people. A little
probing often revealed the real trouble. One woman, who often ate
peanuts with her diet soda, was allergic to peanuts. Another drank too
much caffeine.

--Aspartame is responsible for the recent uptick in brain-cancer
rates. So how do you explain that the trend dates back to 1973, eight
years before aspartame was approved in the U.S.?

Curiously, the email didn't warn against aspartame's single known health
risk. Folks with an uncommon genetic disorder called phenylketonuria
shouldn't consume the sweetener because they cannot metabolize one of
its ingredients.

Before you decide to believe or, worse, forward an e-mail with serious
health claims, do a little checking. Start on the Web with
urbanlegends.miningco.com, which catalogues the more persistent
rumors. Then go to reliable health sites, like mayohealth.org (for
general health), www.medhelp.org (especially good for cardiology),
www.oncolink.org or cancernet.nci.nih.gov (for cancer) or
www.navigator.tufts.edu (for nutrition). Otherwise, you might get
caught in a web of confusion.

pedro
05-25-2005, 04:21 PM
We never had it in the house growing up, and I still don't drink much soda today. Maybe 1 or 2 cokes a month, at most.

Roy Tucker
05-25-2005, 05:27 PM
Pastry consumption is also a contributing factor. And potato chip consumption. You have to wonder of those items are available in school vending machines alongside soda.

Calorie consumption is the real problem, or rather, calorie consumption without exercise. Sodas are one piece of the puzzle, true, but the bigger issue in keeping kids healthy is keeping them physically active. It seems like removing sodas from schools is like treating the symptom, but not the cause. Plus there's the unpleasant side effect of reduced funding.

Oh, I'll agree totally about the chips and cookies and everything else. If I had my druthers, they'd pull the plug completely on that stuff.

By and large, the cafeterias in our school district server healthy balanced lunches K-6. Starting in middle school though, they start offering ala carte items.

So if a kid wants to use all their lunch money on ice cream and donuts, they can. In our school district though, all of our kids' food accounts are on line and itemized. If I see my son eat ice cream sandwiches all week (which he's done), then he hears from me about it.

After an initial period of losing their minds for a bit, my kids have done pretty well with it and make wise choices about 3-4 days a week. The other 1-2, well, after all, they are kids. I don't rag on them about it.

And I agree about the calorie consumption. But kids tend to guzzle pop and it's easy for a kid to go nuts and drink 2-3 pops in a lunch period and there are no checks in place to stop them from doing it. And pop is a particularly bad choice to make.

You want your children to be healthy, active, fit, and of appropriate weight (which all 3 of my kids are, actually, they are all a bit skinny).

Oh, and Pepsi has a big contract with our school district. They just went to being sole supplier of sports drinks which they probably sell more of than they would pop.

TeamCasey
05-25-2005, 05:29 PM
Two choices for us - White milk 8 cents, chocolate 9 cents. :)

creek14
05-25-2005, 06:17 PM
I was in high school so long ago they hadn't even invented soft drinks yet - so it wasn't a worry.

KronoRed
05-25-2005, 06:31 PM
When I went to school we drank yoohoo and we liked it!

Larkin411
05-25-2005, 06:39 PM
This reminds me of a segment in the movie "Supersize Me." They talked about how everything they served in schools came in a box, i.e. nothing that wasn't filled with preservatives and natural/artifical flavors. Sodexho and companies like that make a lot of money on it.

The movie also showcased another school where healthy food was made on-site(thus no artifical flavors) and the school saw improvement in behavior.

RBA
05-25-2005, 07:43 PM
My highschool in California didn't have a cafeteria. There was a snack bar kind of like you'd find at a public pool. We fled as often as possible.

This wasn't Santa Maria High was it?

pedro
05-25-2005, 08:11 PM
This wasn't Santa Maria High was it?

Monte Vista in Danville (Bay Area)

RBA
05-25-2005, 08:42 PM
Monte Vista in Danville (Bay Area)

It must be a California thing. We had the same setup in Santa Maria. Everybody rushed off campus during lunch. 7-11 did brisk business.

Yachtzee
05-25-2005, 08:43 PM
My school never had soda, only pop. ;)

Up until high school, we had our choice of milk, white or chocolate, $.10 a carton. In high school, they had the vending machines with various varieties of pop, but I would say the bigger problem was the choice of food. Even though they tried to serve healthy lunches, the cafeteria had every day items like cheeseburgers and pizza. Thus, kids could easily avoid getting a balanced meal by opting for the same-ole cheeseburgers and pizza. Of course once you got to be a junior, you were allowed to go "off-campus" for lunch, so a lot of kids ended up at the Dairy Queen.

I think it's a noble cause to try to get kids to eat better, but I think it would help if they made healthy school food that actually tasted good. I'd also like to see schools introduce classes where students are encouraged to expand their palates, like they have in Europe. Maybe then kids would be more likely to eat balanced meals, or at least add some variety to their diet.

I can remember wasting time in home ec. and shop classes, which are pointless unless you actually have an interest in those areas. I have never had the urge to make a paper towel rack or hand embroider an apron since. Of course we eat all the time and, other than a few weeks during home ec., they didn't really teach much cooking.

LoganBuck
05-25-2005, 10:39 PM
This is a subject of much passion of mine. I have recently lobbied successfully to get milk vending machines into local schools. I am a dairy farmer, and with the new government standards and the obesity controversy, school districts are looking to add healthy products like milk, or natural fruit juice drinks, and bottled water. I have just tried to provide information and outlets for funding of vending machines. Soft Drink companies put the machines in at no cost to the schools, and often provide funding for scoreboards, and athletic equipment, and often require exclusive access to vending in the schools. Those contracts are not valid as they do not apply to noncarbonated beverages. Yet districts must buy vending machines that provide healthy products, because no one will foot the bill to just put them in, like soft drink companies do. Many school districts find this hard to swallow, and sometimes local dairy producers will help defray some of the costs. Currently the American Dairy Association is offering schools $1000 to help offset the cost of a $4000 machine.

Here is a helpful website for milk vending. http://drink-milk.com/home/

Contact me via PM if you would like to learn more about getting milk vending started in Ohio. I have several contacts to help your school.

savafan
05-26-2005, 01:33 AM
man, if it weren't for Mountain Dew, I never would have been able to stay awake in class. I love milk as much as anyone, but it makes me sleepy.

Roy Tucker
05-26-2005, 08:13 AM
This is a subject of much passion of mine. I have recently lobbied successfully to get milk vending machines into local schools. I am a dairy farmer, and with the new government standards and the obesity controversy, school districts are looking to add healthy products like milk, or natural fruit juice drinks, and bottled water. I have just tried to provide information and outlets for funding of vending machines. Soft Drink companies put the machines in at no cost to the schools, and often provide funding for scoreboards, and athletic equipment, and often require exclusive access to vending in the schools. Those contracts are not valid as they do not apply to noncarbonated beverages. Yet districts must buy vending machines that provide healthy products, because no one will foot the bill to just put them in, like soft drink companies do. Many school districts find this hard to swallow, and sometimes local dairy producers will help defray some of the costs. Currently the American Dairy Association is offering schools $1000 to help offset the cost of a $4000 machine.

Here is a helpful website for milk vending. http://drink-milk.com/home/

Contact me via PM if you would like to learn more about getting milk vending started in Ohio. I have several contacts to help your school.
We should put one of your vending machines in my house. My 17 yr. old son goes through a gallon of milk about every 2 days. I could make some serious money.

I'll ask around and see if there are milk vending machines in our schools. That sounds like a good idea.