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Banning Soda in Schools

The DrHealth blog summarizes a new Nicholas Kristoff op-ed piece in the NY Times on health care reform. There are several ideas, one I like is getting rid of sodas in schools. And I know some people will object to this. But look at what has happened since NYC banned smoking in bars-- the city has started to get healthier according to the latest statistics.

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Thu. Feb 2, 10:47am

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I think this is a ludicrous proposition. We had coke, sprite, candy bars, - you name it - available in my school growing up, when the obesity problem was considered under control. If kids were encouraged to run it off vs. playing xbox, we wouldn't have to ban foods. Everything in moderation.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 10:56 AM

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everything in moderation is the best thing for junk food producers. we don't usually support underage drinking in moderation, we don't support illicit drug use in moderation, why do we assume junk food is good in moderation? banning soda would be good- but they should also ban those energy drinks while they're at it. Cda is considering banning trans fats in foods- they should ban glucose-fructose at the same time.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 11:58 AM

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My school also had them, but restricted access to before and after school (no soda/candy at lunch).

In many ways kids were a bit different. No one I knew was allowed to eat candy on a regular basis at home and so the machines weren't really visited that much. For the most part it really never occured to me that I even could eat candy on a regular basis - my parents didn't allow it and so I just didn't. I don't know that kids eat that much more candy today.

I was a very active kid and did not have a weight problem when I was younger. We ran, rode bikes, played games and swam all the time - TV was a rarity. To this day my dietary issues are not with sweets but rather a sedentary job and too much convenience food. I think that's likely the case with many of today's kids too.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:00 PM

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I agree with the "Everything in Moderation" mantra...I live by it! But for kids, they just don't know how to moderate anything. Sure you can teach them, but taking soda machines and even fast food out of their schools is a sure way to set them up for success.

I graduated in 1995 and there were hardly any overweight students, now when you look around, there are hardly any average or even healthy weight students. Seriously, if you haven't noticed, go to the closest mall/shopping center and just check out the kids today...they are huge!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:03 PM

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At my elementary school, the only choice to drink was milk - skim, 2%, or chocolate. On special days, there was juice too. Before you could go buy "extras," like a fruit rollup or 1 cookie, the teachers checked your lunch bag or tray to be sure that you ate everything healthy first. Middle school was the same, but with a few more choices and a little less checking. High school had 1 soda machine, but definitely no candy bars, etc. There were rice krispie treats, single-serving bags of chips, and individual cookies. Also, there were french fries and plenty of fried entrees, but still, not just plain old candy. I graduated high school in 2000, so not that long ago! The obesity thing was already starting, but it wasn't what it is now. And we definitely didn't think that anything was missing! The only times you got "candy" in school was when a team was doing a fundraiser and selling candy bars.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:06 PM

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I agree. I think that soda machines do not have a place in school. Candy and soda should not be sold in schools. I also think that every school should have a salad bar -- school lunches are horrible. French fries are served daily and any other options they have use tons of cheese, oil, etc. Parents need to start voting "YES" to school budgets so that their children aren't faced with candy/soda in vending machines to make up for the lack of school funding. If "the walking dead" (aka the retirees) can get out of the nursing home to vote no to the school budget, a working parent can stop by the polls on the way home to vote yes to it...

Kids today are pretty big - when I was in elementary school (early 90s) kids weren't fat. Now they don't have recess and gym has been cut down to one time a week for elementary school kids. While the xbox etc may be to blame - I don't think so. We had nintendo back in the day .. but if it was nice outside we had to be outside. The nintendo was reserved for rainy days. In today's society of living in fear (largely incited by the oh so great W after 9/11) some parents won't let their children outside. This is breeding an introverted (and fat) cohort that will not be able to function as well socially as kids of a different era.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:12 PM

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Advertising in Schools doesn't help

I work at a university and visit a lot of high schools.

Yes, there are pop (soda) machines in many places around the school (when I was in school 20 years ago, they were restricted only to the lunch area).

Also, an alarming thing in my mind is that there are advertising "mini billboards" in places around the hallways. This is an urban school environment, I understand needing funds for the schools, but I think advertising and promoting movies, jeans, food, drinks, etc. via mini billboards is Not the way to go.

The Vending Machines are a billboard in themselves-- Who has not seen a Coke Machine with a Giant bottle of coke on the cover? Rarely do the vending machines offer anything but pop, gatorade or occasionally (and very rarely bottled water or juices. Even the juices are "fortified" with sugars....

This is just teaching the kids that if they are thirsty and have some money they can buy themselves a pop at any time... I realize that some teachers may not allow kids to bring the drinks to the classroom, but when I was in high school, the only beverage dispenser in the hallways were the drinking fountains.... We are doing our children a dis-service in getting them "addicted" to sugar and caffeine (or even aspartame or splenda)

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:28 PM

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I believe that society will always continue to offer (as one poster said) alcohol, drugs and junk food, etc. You can't control what the massive marketing machines of the world will do to get to the children. What you can do is make healthy choices more attractive and give an incentive and reasons to children to make those healthy choices. My mom consistently made college sound like the greatest time on earth, but she said to get there, you have to do well, you must strive for excellent marks. She dangled the carrot and I went after it. This is a fundamental approach that could work for all kinds of choices.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:34 PM

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I totally agree with the "video game" phenomenon.

about 10 years ago my younger cousins visited us in Michigan from San Francisco. Granted, they lived in the city and the nearest park was the Golden Gate Park (driving distance), their backyard is about 15x15 feet, so they do not have a lot of green space around their home.

My parents live in a suburb of Michigan that's in the city, but has a dirt road and LOTS of green space, including a small pond within biking or walking distance. As kids, my sister, brother and I would go to the pond, dig a few worms and fish just to see how many we could catch (and then throw back into the pond). However, my 2 young cousins (about 9 and 12 at the time) were Nintendo Gameboy junkies... All they wanted to do every day (and this was in the summertime!) was to sit around playing their gameboy. They didn't want to play outside or ride bikes or anything!!!

I got fed up one afternoon, handed them the fishing poles, a bucket and a shovel and pointed them out the door.. within 10 minutes, they were banging on the back door complaining to my mom that I had "locked them outside." I found it incredible that in such nice, warm, sunny weather they did not want to be outside-- when I was a kid, my siblings and I headed outside at the first sign of warm weather-- many days, we'd spend just riding around the neighborhood on our bikes and playing in the park...

My how things have changed!! (for the worse!)

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:34 PM

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Ok, I need to chime in here....
My daughter is in elementry school and the only coke machine in the building is in the teachers lounge. She has 2 recess a day and she has gym class 2-3 x's a week. My son is in middle school, yes they have vending machines in their cafeteria. Along with the coke, pepsi, etc, they also have gatoraide and juice. He has gym class 2-3 x's a week and he is in 8th grade and he still gets 1 recess a day either before or after lunch. He is also in sports after school.

It is not the schools fault there are obesed children in this country. Children of obesed parents will tend to be obesed also. My kids were taught the food pyramid in school and they are helping me with it because when I was in school it was the 4 basic food groups (I know I am old!)

As far as candy machines - I think ALL the snacks in the machines are bad not just the candy bars. You have snack cakes and chips neither are any good. If you have a problem with what the school is serving your child then pack their lunch! That is what I do.

The reason there are so many over weght kids is to much fast food and these kids need to get outside and play! My kids run up and down the street all the time! Plus they are both in sports.

this is just my 2 cents

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 3:32 PM

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I think we should clarify where the soda is....elementary school is much different than high school.

Friday, February 03, 2006, 10:25 AM

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yeah, but if it's not in highschool, at least half of them will have to walk to the 7-11 to buy it...

Friday, February 03, 2006, 12:27 PM

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and ban junkfood too.. take out all the vending machines!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 4:24 PM

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