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Soda In Schools, The Debate

Obesity is a growing problem for the youth of America. One of the large factors being debated is the access to unhealthy foods & drinks. So, is it the schools’ role to keep soda from kids or not?

Obesity is a growing problem for the youth of America. This is a complex issue and there are many contributing factors. One of the large factors being debated is the access to unhealthy foods & drinks. So, is it a schools’ role to keep soda from kids or not? We will take a look at the proposition’s and opposition's arguments and prospectives.

Proposition (No soda in school): The average teen drinks 3 or more cans of soda a day. That is a whopping 163,000 extra calories a year. 10% of teens drink more than seven cans of soda daily. This adds 380,000 calories a year. Soda however has many more problems beyond obesity. After soda is consumed, it leaves some amount of sugar in your mouth causing an increase in the risk of cavities. Some other shocking impacts of soda consumption are hyperactivity, osteoporosis, dietary deficiencies, and caffeine dependence in children. School is a place for education, a place where students learn how to shape the rest of their lives. Nutrition is a required piece of the California school curriculum, so it only makes sense for school to support what they teach. As Phyllis Bramson-Paul the director of nutrition services with the California Department of Education. says "Obesity is just reaching crisis proportions, and while schools are not responsible for that, schools can certainly play a role." The quote demonstrates that schools need to take action.

Opposition: The reality of the current day market is that the demand for sugary drinks does, has, and always will exist. Because of this, if you take soda out of school people will just find another way to get it. Another aspect is that soda machines in schools are a source of revenue for the school. In the current state our country is in, we can’t afford to cut this source of revenue. There are many positive benefits of soda. In fact, research by David Benton, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Swansea University, Wales, U.K., suggests that sugary drinks improve school children’s memories and concentration. Thus showing that offering these drinks to children can be beneficial to the education system as a whole.

Editorial Background: Regardless of your side everyone can agree that soda has a negative affect on health. This has been a hot topic as it combines money, children, and obesity. All of these topics have weight on their own, but together they can be over whelming. If you have ever attended any of the Bay Area public schools in the last few years and looked around one of things you wouldn’t be able to find would be full calorie soft drinks. In 2003 The State of California passed a bill (SB 677 Ortiz) which prohibited the sale of any full calorie soft drinks in public schools (k-8). The bill's equivalent (SB 965, Escutia) was passed for high schools later in 2005.

The Compromise: The compromise was an interesting one. It banned sodas from schools, but only full calorie soft drinks, meaning Power-Aid and Orange Juice are still legal. This gives the school the revenue stream they are looking for and gives the nutritionists something they want. Redwood High School adopted this alternative . Now their vending machines are stocked with v8, Powerade and water aposed to the soft drinks found a few years back.

Conclusion: In conclusion we can see the astonishing and frightening statistics on the consumption of soda. Given the role school plays in the lives of youth, we knew something had to be done. This satisfying compromise leaves everyone with something they want and the opportunity for us to move further into the struggle that is childhood obesity.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Duncan McCrae May 25, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Please share your comments and perspectives on the article.
Derek Wilson May 25, 2011 at 09:11 PM
I was glad to see Duncan and his cohorts at Del Mar Middle School taking on such an important issue. Congratulations to Duncan and his teachers on this school project.
Jacob Winchester May 09, 2012 at 06:09 PM
=) Nice!

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