Group Seeks to Eliminate Sodas in Schools


January 5, 2004, 09:26 PM
Group Seeks to Eliminate Sodas in Schools
Mon Jan 5, 2:39 PM ET Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!

By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO - Soft drinks should be eliminated from schools to help tackle the nation's obesity epidemic and pediatricians should work with their local schools to ensure that children are offered healthful alternatives, the American Academy of Pediatrics Says.

Related Links
• Policy Statement (American Academy of Pediatrics)

In a new policy statement, the academy says doctors should contact superintendents and school board members and "emphasize the notion that every school in every district shares a responsibility for the nutritional health of its students."

Some schools already limit contracts with vendors of soft drinks and fast foods, though the soft drink industry has fought efforts by some states to mandate such restrictions.

While some schools rely on funds from vending machines to pay for student activities, the new policy says elementary and high schools should avoid such contracts, and that those with existing contracts should impose restrictions to avoid promoting overconsumption by kids.

The policy appears in the January issue of Pediatrics, being published Monday.

"The purpose of the statement is to give parents and superintendents and school board members and teachers, too, an awareness of the fact that they're playing a role in the current obesity crisis, and that they have measures at their disposal" to address it, said Dr. Robert D. Murray, the policy's lead author.

About 15 percent of U.S. youngsters aged 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That is nearly 9 million youths and triple the number in a similar assessment from 1980.

Soft drinks are a common source of excess calories that can contribute to weight gain, and soft drink consumers at all ages have a higher daily calorie intake than nonconsumers, the academy's policy said. It cites data showing that 56 percent to 85 percent of school-age children consume at least one soft drink daily, most often sugared rather than diet sodas.

The National Soft Drink Association, which represents most soft drink makers nationwide, said the new policy is misguided and goes too far.

"Soft drinks can be a part of a balanced lifestyle and are a nice treat," said Jim Finkelstein, the association's executive director.


What :cuss:ing spoilsports!

Here's a new term for the uplifters: killjoys.

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January 5, 2004, 09:44 PM
Yet another example of someone other than a child's parents trying to raise the children.

January 5, 2004, 10:11 PM
growing obesity in america has nothing to do with availability of junk food. It has to do with the rampant lack of self control and amazing laziness of the american public


Andrew Rothman
January 5, 2004, 11:08 PM
I could swear we covered this exact topic less than a week ago, right here.

Ah, yes, here it is.....

As I said there...Okay by me. Schools act in loco parentis, and have an obligation not to endanger kids' health. Any reasonable parent would limit junk food and promote healthy choices.

Further, they're not banning the items. If students want to bring junk food from home, they can. The school just says, we're not going to be the ones to sell kids the junk food.

I'm good with that.

January 6, 2004, 06:11 AM
I'm gonna have to go with MPayne on this one, folks. Aside from the obesity argument that the article poses, which I don't fully buy, this whole vending machine thing has ballooned into a major discipline and maintenance problem far beyond what most people understand.

We have to have a person whose FULL TIME JOB is to prevent kids from getting to the vending machines when they aren't supposed to. Kids ask for passes to the restroom (which we MUST provide) and then make one of those "Family Circus" paths that just happens to go past the vending machines. If "vendo-cop" happens to be away, Junior scores a liter of Coke and sticks it in his coat pocket.

Then, Junior proceeds to suck away on his drink during class and naturally leaves the bottle laying in the middle of the floor on his way out.

Couple this with the spilled drinks that damage equipment, books, etc and all of the dpills int he halls and you have a major waste of resources.

We use our vendo-land to finance our copying machines, but I bet we could recoup that money by eliminating the machines and the accompanying expenses.

January 6, 2004, 08:37 AM
My highschool (class of '00, Calvert High (down in, who'd have guessed, Calvert County)) had vending machines with timelocks, no sodas or junk food would come out of the machines before 2:30 or 3:00pm (I never used them myself, but it was really funny to laugh at all the kids that tried to stick their money in the machines during lunch, as the machines were on, but would just spit your money back out). That might be something for your school to look into.


January 6, 2004, 09:31 AM
Our machines are supposed to be on during lunch, but the kids go down there from their classes.

The admin. claims that it is impossible to put timers on them to only coincide with lunch and after school:scrutiny:

Truth be know...they want them on as much as possible because they get their cut:mad:

January 6, 2004, 10:01 AM
The whole time I was going to school (primary) we didn't have any soda. By the time I got to high school, we had Hi-C and other "fruit" juices in a vending machine but no Coke, Pepsi, or any of those. On a related topic, we also had two different lunch offerings; hamburgers and fries everyday in one line and a regular, well-balanced meal in another line. I opted to eat the regular lunch every day but Friday but most kids ate burgers and fries every day.


January 6, 2004, 10:13 AM
I saw it in the local paper this morning...

The Dems in our fine denial about being the minority party....

Have 2-3 bills aimed at curbing snack foods in schools

One was actually aimed at forcing schools to TURN OFF the snack/drink machines in Elementary and Middle schools during lunch hour.

Now what exactly would they propose if;

a. Kids brought the stuff to school IN their lunch (far cheaper as well)

b. Kids bought the stuff during breaks and ate/drank it during lunch

What a joke!

Sean Smith
January 6, 2004, 10:24 AM
The fact of the matter is that we have a rather perverse situation where the school administrations are turning a buck by selling unhealthy food and drinks to the students. I don't see why there is so much whining about not having the schools actively push bad food on people's children. Note that this is an entirely different animal from the school banning "naughty food" or something.

It is the difference between the school not actively doing wrong, versus the school forcing everyone to do its version of right.

Bruce H
January 6, 2004, 10:46 AM
Well since they have pretty well eliminated education in schools why not sodas?

Mike Irwin
January 6, 2004, 10:52 AM
I agree with this.

We need beer in the schools.

January 6, 2004, 11:07 AM
All I drank as a kid was A&W Cream Soda, Cactus Cooler and Coke.

I'm barely heavy enough to give blood :banghead:

January 6, 2004, 11:17 AM
MicroBalrogWhat :cuss:ing spoilsports! They are doing it to lower obesity, which saves lives. How is this any different than you supporting Welfare to save lives? Frankly, in most nations a person is more likely to die of obesity than to die of starvation, so the soda action is more needed than Welfare.

Mind you, I'm not supporting the ban on sodas. I'm just pointing out that your pick-and-choose approach to libertarian principles is showing.Here's a new term for the uplifters: killjoys. Uplifters also are called "supporters of Welfare."

January 6, 2004, 11:59 AM
What gets me is that they're giving Junior all the sugar and caffeine he wants, and then wondering why he's bouncing around the classroom, so then they wanna give him a bunch of meds?

Mike Irwin
January 6, 2004, 12:05 PM
Bingo, Bogie.

When I went to school we had soda machines, but they were TIGHTLY controlled. No sodas for students during lunch. The machines would be opened up for after school.

The difference is that today the schools are using the soda and snack machines as ways of generating additional revenue, and are signing sharing agreements with soda companies to make products available. It's no wonder that the machines are available to students virtually the entire time they're at the school.

January 6, 2004, 12:28 PM
Personally i object to ANY school taking money from children for anything that isnt related to their education. I mean thats pretty low trying to turn a buck from kids who are REQUIRED BY LAW to be in the building.

Bill Hook
January 6, 2004, 12:34 PM
I'm for eliminating outside pressure groups from govt. schools and letting kids take personal responsibility for what they consume. Hi-C, milk and the other choices available to kids don't seem that much better than pop, if we're worried about obesity. Kids at my high school went across the street to get pop at the local C-store.

January 6, 2004, 12:48 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing pop machines banned from schools, but I would rather it be done at the local level, with input from the parents. As a parent, I can (and do) control what my child eats. Kids aren't known for their self-control. Does anyone here let their kids eat whatever they want?

While I have control over what they eat at home, this control does not extend to school. I could limit my daughter to one can of pop a day, but she could have as much as she wanted once she got to school. I don't see this as parents giving up control of their children to the schools, I see it as taking back control. If I want my kid to have pop at school, I'll send it with them. I realize this won't work for older teenagers that could just drive to 7-11, but I am hoping to instill good eating habits by then.

Joe Demko
January 6, 2004, 12:56 PM
Contracts with vendors are pretty lucrative. It usually involves more than just a cut from the money in the machine. The soda-producer pays additional money, for example, to be the only brand distributed. In my school, Pepsi has the contract. They also provided a new scoreboard for the stadium with the catch that they have advertising on it. The faculty vending machines work all the time. The ones for the kids are on some pretty sophisticated time locks and will only vend water and juice during regular school hours. In poor school districts, it is easy for administration to get "hooked" on having this revenue source. So they aren't likely to eliminate it.

January 6, 2004, 01:01 PM
"Okay by me. Schools act in loco parentis, and have an obligation not to endanger kids' health. Any reasonable parent would limit junk food and promote healthy choices.

Further, they're not banning the items. If students want to bring junk food from home, they can. The school just says, we're not going to be the ones to sell kids the junk food.

I'm good with that."

well said, I completely agree.

January 6, 2004, 02:57 PM
but...but......what about the coffee? And the Latte'....and espresso?

What will the kids drinK!!!???!!


My kids' school serves nothing of the soda, junk food, etc.

I guess that's what I get for $3500/year tuition. Gee, I can't wait til the second one goes there too. Y'all will be seeing all my guns up for sale real cheap:rolleyes:

January 6, 2004, 03:58 PM
In simplest terms..........

If we all agree that it is bad.....

Then why do we need a law...

You mean...GASP!!!....that the schools may not have the best interests of our children in mind??????:eek:

January 6, 2004, 08:27 PM
but...but......what about the coffee? And the Latte'....and espresso?

What will the kids drinK!!!???!!

Actually not too far from the truth. Our halls look like some sort of town market before and after school. We got your doughnuts, coffee, pizza......who ever needs to eat at home?

Anyway....have you ever taken a good look at a school water fountain:barf:

January 6, 2004, 08:50 PM
Good Lord, a lot has changed since I graduated in 1989. We had no sodas or vending machines, just school lunches and milk (though we did have the "hamburgers and fries every day" option as described by TarpleyG).

And no, we didn't walk 10 miles uphill every day through 2 feet of snow!:D

January 7, 2004, 06:17 AM

At least you had the option for the hamburgers......up until I gradeeated in '85 we only had the option of the line food. mmmmmm......the days of the mystery meat burritos accompanied by a hunk of gubmint cheese:barf:

January 7, 2004, 07:40 AM
My thoughts are gonna sound old fashioned, so be it.

Yes there is lot of monies to contract with soda/vending machine companies. I used to work for a large hospital. $3 million contract to go with a particular soda company. An Employee could/would/and were "written up" for public display of competitor product ( brought in their lunch to save paying the vending machine price).

When I grew up , we walked to school, I used cafeteria mostly in grade school, we brown bagged for field trips. No fast food joints a that time either. We cooked at home...etc. We played hard, we only had 3 TV stations, but we ate good home cooked meals, fruits for snacks. We did not have "ready to eat quickie meals" in stores. We did not have all the preservatives and whom knows what in foods either.

Jr./Sr. High. I never put foot in the school cafe, not even when we were to duck for cover during a tornado. I took my lunch in Jr high. Now Sr. HS, we had a "Campus Inn", BB-Q, Burgers, Chips, sodas, malts - you name it. We could also smoke in the Campus Inn. We also had "open campus" come and go as please, your job to make it to class. I think I lived on bean dip, fritos, and cokes/coffee/tea during my senior year.

I knew how to cut up a fresh chicken and how to cook it. I knew how to pick fruit and veggies and prepare them. I did take homemade roast beef sandwiches/ cold fried chicken/ fresh caught crappie/bream/bass cold for lunch microwaves...tho' that "radar range" was being touted in some restaurants.

We carried knives and had firearms in vehicles, we may hunt before/after school. We also had firearms in gym to teach safety, shot BB/Pellet guns indoors and archery as well. No big deal if a student wanted to share a firearm in class...gee in speech we had speeches with war relics passed around.

We could even smoke in designated area inside the school, didn't want butts in toliets to stop-up the plumbing.

Now I never took nutrition,per se'. We touched on it. My former stepson, inherited bad genes genes from his dad's family on the weight deal. My ex was a nurse, pediatric nurse, she too noticed an increase in obesity. We as parents, got that boy involved in excercise, okay it may sound "corny" but we ate as family, and we and the dog took walks. We played toss the medicine ball, we wrestled, well I had to take turns with his age not a good idea to have him wrestle mom. We involved him on the nutrition aspect of grocery shopping. I even took him to attend some lectures in regard to obesity as it pertained to kids and his peers. Ok, sounds corny, but I/we be damned if the gummit was going to 'educate him'...they obviously had done a piss poor job with his peers. I/we took responsibilty, he did inherit the couch potato gene from his slob of a dad.

There was also an increase in the medication of kids. Yeah well , sure kids are kids, but in my day the teachers knew how to teach, they had control of classroom, parents were involved in the students studies.

I know a relative, whom the teacher could not teach,she recomended over half the students "needed meds". Parents raised hell, fired the teacher, no meds for students and all better.

We didn't have all this friggin' "control, and protection" when I grew up. We had discipline and respect, none of this pc crap. Don't tell me kids didn't have stress,we had kids whom lost parents in Wars, went off to War, had Dads moms and sibs die /come home maimed from War. Hell Kids too busy helping with family to get into trouble...gain weight.

Quit protecting the kids, quit protecting them with preservatives and whatever else is in food. Quit stressing them out with bad teachers, whom push for "goals" to receive more gummit money. Hell if they want to smoke in HS, provide a damn place for it, inside to boot...they are going to anyway, why make them late for class?

All this anti firearm crap, no weapons on campus...gimee a break. We carried knives, hell a guy was not considered dressed with out one. The gals carried too, bunch of straight razors used as well. I tell you what, even with the "unrest" of War, demonstratioins, riots...we didn't shoot anyone with the deer rifle in the pick-up. People "respected on another" hell we were all "armed".

I assure you some idiot come in and want to start shooting, well you know, some folks carried all the time, like teachers. Someone at leastone- mor likely many would have knifed 'em. IF the perp made it outside, he wouldn't die tired...we knew how to shoot, probably get hit with a barrage.

Probably why we were not "so stressed" about world events and the commies, civil defence, we were prepared...we may have differed on opinions b/t students...I know as whole we could hold the fort .

All this gummit control, preservatives, breakdown of family units, everyone in a hurry going nowhere, medicate to educate, indoctrination not education, kids not able to play for fear of abduction...hell no wonder! It ain't the damn sodas/vending machines folks, we have a gummit "gonna take care us" problem.

I know one girl walking to school that an attempted attack ocurred by an escaped convict on a work detail...she sliced him to ribbons before the LEO on horseback arrived. She didin't get into trouble, they drove her home to change clothes, and they went with parents to explain the "tardy" and no problem.

This crap hits a nerve with me. All this school uniform crap my neices and nephews have to put up discipline is one thing, like the Catholic boys and girls school we had in town. This pc crap because of feelings getting hurt over a pair of stupid - too expensive them box /wrestle off the steam, run laps...sheesh. Keds, Converse, Adidas, were the only choices...well Puma came along, I use those for cross-country.

Nephew caught flak because he once brought fresh apples and cheese to kindergarten for a snack. "Oh we don't recommend he do that again, some kids don't have that "opportunity", the snack packs "we get" for them...I had gone to pick nephew up , I halted that speil " listen lady it ain't his fault others kids parents are smoking dope or momma can't keep knees together and spits out kids she has no idea whom the daddy is". I told brother to jerk his butt out of that kindergarten, after what happened...he/SIL put him in kindergarten elsewhere - real quick!

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control - Pink Floyd

January 7, 2004, 07:56 AM

What really annoys me is not preservatives to keep food from spoiling, it's all the unnecessary crap. MSG because the food tastes like crap to start with, artificial coloring, even coloring preservatives (not particularly common, but I used to notice that on cans of red kidney beans... I guess someone would be offended if they weren't quite as dark red). There are plenty of canned goods that have nothing more than salt and/or a bit of alcohol to preserve them. It's all the instant precooked food crap that has terrible and totally unnecessary chemicals. I refuse to ever eat such stuff again. I'll go on a bread and water diet before I do.

(edit: I went and looked it up. the coloring preservative is disodium EDTA, and a web search will generate the usual "it's bad for you" - "no it's not" war that's so common with preservatives, MSG, thimerosal, etc.)

January 7, 2004, 07:56 AM
"We don't need no education"

The Floyd could have used some education in the proper use of English. :)


P.S. - By the time I finished high school I think the little cartons of milk were 5 cents or maybe 8 cents. Why worry about sodas? Have you seen how much sugar some folks put in their coffee and iced tea? Yuck. And don't get me started on that sugar-enriched non-dairy coffee whitener.

January 7, 2004, 08:05 AM
Hey, publik schoolen in the south...ain't how it rote but the message. LOL :p

Yeah I miss those little milk glass bottles with cardbord top for .03...eventually .05. Mini-loaves of bread too, just perfect for a olive - egg sandwich.

Shoot, I was kinda poor growin up, when Mickey D came about, .17 was a lot for that skinny hamburger...

January 7, 2004, 12:02 PM
We had several vending machines in my high school. Sodas, chips, candy, etc. They were used pretty heavily. Most people got a coke or a bag of chips to go with lunch. I don't see anything wrong with it, and I can't see a decent reason to try to regulate it. The kids who got fat probably had an overall diet/exercise problem. Removing the Coke machine isn't going to help. Getting them off their butts to run a mile a day in gym class, however, would go a long way.

It's not obesity, it's the stupid/lazy disease.

January 7, 2004, 12:33 PM
Nephew caught flak because he once brought fresh apples and cheese to kindergarten for a snack.

That may just be the biggest load of PC garbage I have ever heard. A kid can't can't eat an apple because some other kid doesn't get that "opportunity"? They all have to eat their little school provided bag of preservatives and sugar? Last I heard even the poor in this country can get this great new invention called "food stamps" and I don't think apples are currently neck and neck with gold as to which costs more. Good Lord.

Far as smoking in schools goes, at least in MD in the 80s if you were 16 and got parental permission you could smoke in the Student Smoking Lounge. Nowadays I hear they do sting operations on 7-11s trying to catch them selling cigarettes to under 18s.:rolleyes:

January 7, 2004, 12:47 PM
It's not obesity, it's the stupid/lazy disease.That is absolutely true, but anyway: No soda. No candy. And while we're at it: school uniforms for everyone.

- Gabe

January 7, 2004, 02:15 PM
"Shoot, I was kinda poor growin up, when Mickey D came about, .17 was a lot for that skinny hamburger..."

Heh, heh, heh, a youngster huh? When I worked there they were only 15 cents. John

January 7, 2004, 04:01 PM
when i was in high school they turned the soda machines off at lunch time
guess that was there lame attempt at a compromise between Coka-Cola and the obesity police

January 7, 2004, 06:03 PM
We have to have a person whose FULL TIME JOB is to prevent kids from getting to the vending machines when they aren't supposed to. Kids ask for passes to the restroom (which we MUST provide) and then make one of those "Family Circus" paths that just happens to go past the vending machines. If "vendo-cop" happens to be away, Junior scores a liter of Coke and sticks it in his coat pocket.

Then, Junior proceeds to suck away on his drink during class and naturally leaves the bottle laying in the middle of the floor on his way out.

Couple this with the spilled drinks that damage equipment, books, etc and all of the dpills int he halls and you have a major waste of resources.

We use our vendo-land to finance our copying machines, but I bet we could recoup that money by eliminating the machines and the accompanying expenses.
that sounds awfully like my high school. May I ask where you teach Norton?

As I said in the previous thread, I don't see what's wrong with this. If anything, it gives the parents more control because if their kid has soda at school on a regular basis, it's because they allow it. Nobody is suggesting that sodas or other junk food not be allowed on school property (in which case I would strongly disagree with it), they're just saying that schools shouldn't go out of their way to help kids eat junk food every day.

January 7, 2004, 06:52 PM

You can ask....but I won't tell ya:p

I'd rather not say as I've been rather critical of both my school and the PGCPS on this board as well as others.

Let's just say that I teach in your fair county and leave it at that.

What school did you go to?

Bruce H
January 7, 2004, 06:53 PM
Hey sm, remember getting out of school and going home to work? If nothing important was going on going hunting or fishing for supper. Most everybody was outside doing something. The overweight person was the minority. Today everybody runs home, grabs a Mountain Dew and either hits the internet or the playstation. If you see fishing tackle or a rifle it can be a coin toss if it is stolen ot not. Sad.

January 7, 2004, 07:05 PM
Big Money's indoctrination belongs to schools even less than Big Government's indoctrination. Nothing wrong with Soda, Inc.'s vending machines and other stuff, even commercials in workbooks? The kids' minds are being sold early and cheap by the ones that should educate them. :cuss: :barf:

January 7, 2004, 07:07 PM
BTW, sm, that was one of the best rants in a while. Made my evening. :D

January 7, 2004, 07:47 PM
I went to Eleanor Roosevelt. lol and as the son of a teacher in the county, and a former student, I'd bet I probably agree with most if not all of your complaints.

January 8, 2004, 11:59 AM
When I was in high school around 1980, us kids were trying to start a movement to get alternatives to soda in the vending machines. Were basically told it wasn't possible because fruit juice cost a lot more than soda. Maybe kids today have a different attitude, but I'd like to see them given the choice.

January 8, 2004, 03:05 PM
Just watch....

If they take the junk food out of schools, the next step will be monitoring what kids eat at home.

You will see questionaires asking how many hot meals a week, how often fast food or frozen pizza etc.

January 8, 2004, 03:52 PM
Whew! [thud] dang that was tall soap box - huh ? Sorry, but thanks for letting vent.:)

Just a few nerves got hit. Something recent just set with me wrong. I admit, I'm not the smartest member here, I have to work at some stuff a little harder than some, then again some things come more natural. You folks with math , chemistry, physics skills have my respect.

I do consider myself to have "street smarts" and common sense . Yes I walked, hitch-hiked, caught the bus or bummed a ride to work after school starting in Jr HS. I worked mowing lawns and odd jobs growing up. You did the job your size allowed. Who says a 4 yr old can't clean a tub or take out the trash. Cooked my own breakfast at around 5, it's what one did, pitch in with the family stuff.

Social skills, interaction with folks, thinking on your feet, being aware of the real world...etc., well not all "education" comes from a textbook or a bldg, with "education" etched on the door. IMO.

I have no problem with education, I do have a problem with indoctrination,and control. Folks have the right to be free and that includes thinking for themselves, making their own choices and accepting the results of their actions.

People blame everything on everything else if "it does not turn out right". Want more laws and "control" to "fix" things. Soda/vending machines ain't the problem, it is the individual , the training that individual has/or lack of, and the intent of what an individual does with something.

I don't need a sign on a soda/vending machine to tell me if I tip it over it will fall, and injury will result. Sheesh...I'm not the only one as a child that climbed up a dresser and pulled a drawer onto myself - once was enough [note to self, heavy objects that fall on you hurt] so I never did that again.

So I guess we need to ban dressers with drawers if we follow the same mindset as sodas making folks fat.

I didn't use math or physics to figure it out either...busted my butt, then the drawer put a knot on my noggin...Mom was a lot of help, looked at me, saw I was ok, " I believe I said that would happen if you kept doing that" , popped my butt, later gave me wash cloth with ice cubes and made me hold it to my noggin. She walked off to do other chores. Got a spanking, sore butt and a knot on my head. Made me put all the crap back in the drawer to boot. Nope, don't need a sign on soda machine...I know that lesson all to well.

January 8, 2004, 04:09 PM
On the subject of monitoring kids eating habits:
The year after I left high school, they added a new system where each student was given a PIN number. To purchase ANY food from the cafeteria, even if paying cash, the students had to give their PIN number to the lunch lady. After entering the PIN, a picture of the student would pop up on the screen so the lunch lady could verify it was the right person and then the transaction would go through, with the money either being removed from a debit account, or the student handing over the cash. Regardless of payment method, the computer would record what each student bought.

Official reasons given for implementing the system were to not embaress the food-stamp kids, and so the FDA could see what kids were eating (school was given a lot of grant money in return). :rolleyes:


January 8, 2004, 04:18 PM
Golgo-13 was right on.

Coke and Pepsi distribute a huge number of juices and bottle water that getting rid of soda doesn't really affect sales. Things like Fruit Works, Dole juices, Minute Maid ect. are still distributed by Coke and Pepsi.

Several schools in this area have dumped the usual snack machines for cold food (refrigerated ) machines that vend apples and fruit. Things still sell, but its still not stopping kids from stuffing their faces.

Schools use to be the places I focused my business but not anymore. You have to play politics too often when dealing with anything in the ejubacation industry.

January 8, 2004, 04:35 PM
I am all for getting rid of Soda Machines in schools. The fact is, they are there because of the contracts. That is all.

Of course, here I sit for 15 hours a day by a computer, which is behind a lot of our "fat behinds!" :)

Schools get money from sodas, they get money from whining about how badly students are doing, from whining about how violent they are etc. In our sensationalized society the only way to get people involved in anything civic is to show a crisis! In the mid-90s my wife was in graduate school for education and the profs went out of their way to teach the students to take all of the talk of school crisis with a grain of salt because it was well known that the crisis talk was intended to secure funding. The fact is most of what we hear about the decline in education is horsecrap. The numbers don't support it. The crime rates don't support it, the pregnancy rate doesn't support it etc. What we risk, however, is making people think that education is doing no good for our kids.

It remains true that everything from committing crimes, to income, to longevity, to being the victim of crimes etc are tied to education level almost directly.

One of the few credible studies I have seen lately shows the relationship between poor teacher quality and bad schools. This is aggravated by low accountability, and horrble wages. ( a good friend makes more delivering pizza than he would working in a High School with his degree). Someone recently laid out a plan that called for teachers to voluntarily exchange job security for higher wages. Basically you could be paid lower but with no accountability, or higher with high accountability and choose whichever contract option you wanted. I think that is a great idea!

January 8, 2004, 06:23 PM
The schools will never get ride of soda machines. Not only do the schools get a cut of the sale, Coke and Pepsi buy the rights to put the machines there. It can be alot of money for a large school. The school I work for got about 20grand worth of Coke products plus a cut of the sale. Another school got a complete stadiam bought and paid for by Coke.

January 9, 2004, 09:23 AM
Soda deal funds schools
Critics say potential harm to students not worth $652,000 from Coca-Cola
Dover Bureau reporter

Delaware school officials have been negotiating deals with Coke and Pepsi for years, reaping healthy annual payments for the exclusive right to place vending machines in schools.

But few, if any, contracts match the eight-year, $652,000 agreement with Coca-Cola reached last month by the Capital School District. The Dover-based district agreed to sell Coca-Cola products in its cafeterias, teachers' lounges and hallways and at athletic events.

The school board's unanimous approval of the contract, which expands the presence of machines in the middle and elementary schools, comes at a time of mounting national criticism of the practice of making fatty snacks and sugary drinks available to kids at school. Critics contend school vending machines contribute to increasing youth obesity.

Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for eliminating soft drinks from schools. Among other statistics, the academy noted that 15 percent of U.S. children aged 9 to 16 - about 9 million kids - are seriously overweight. That is three times as many as in 1980.

Also this week, Coke and Pepsi said they no longer would sell carbonated beverages in elementary and middle schools in Canada, although water and fruit juice would continue to be sold.

Capital district officials said they heard little opposition from parents or staff to the Coke agreement. And school officials elsewhere in Delaware agreed there is no concerted pressure from parents to clamp down on soft drink sales. The money from the deals would be tough to replace, they said.

The Coca-Cola contract will provide Capital with $81,500 a year, plus commissions on beverage sales. That will be enough to pay for the artificial turf sought for the Dover High School football stadium.

"Last year, we sat down with both Coke and Pepsi, and we said the first one that comes through with the best proposal is the one we go with, and Coca-Cola came through first," Principal Robert D. Adams said.

That is short-sighted, said Patricia C. Conley, supervisor of the Smyrna School District's child nutrition programs, who said she has been opposing vending machines in schools for 30 years.

"To be honest with you, I think we're making money off our children's health," said Conley, who also is Mideast regional director of the American School Food Services Association in Arlington, Va., and president of the Delaware School Administrators Association.

Growing opposition

Opposition to the school vending machines is growing elsewhere.

The New York and Los Angeles school districts, the country's two largest, have banned soft drink and junk food sales. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 23 states have restricted, or are considering restricting, the kinds of beverages and snacks available in school vending machines.

In Delaware, the House of Representatives approved a resolution last year calling for a voluntary effort to put more healthful food and drinks in school vending machines. But no law is likely.

The 19 public school districts in the state are free to make their own rules on vending machines. Most districts restrict where machines are placed in the schools, what can be sold from them and when.

Three districts - Caesar Rodney, Polytech and Colonial - have no exclusive beverage agreements, based on a phone survey of 15 districts and information from Coke and Pepsi representatives.

Pepsi and Coke enforce bans on carbonated beverage sales to elementary school pupils. Most of Pepsi's agreements limit vending machine beverage sales to adults in elementary and middle schools. In high schools, many of its machines are timed to dispense drinks only after the school day ends.

Under Capital's agreement, all vending machine beverages at elementary schools are limited to administration, faculty and adult staff members. At middle schools, drinks are sold only in the cafeteria at lunch time. At the high school, only two of the 15 machines dispense carbonated drinks. Under "model guidelines" adopted by Coke last year, the carbonated drinks can be purchased only after 1 p.m.

Adams said teachers decide whether students can drink beverages during class.

Curtis Etherly, a spokesman for Mid Atlantic Coca Cola Bottling Co., of Columbia, Md., said the industry's restrictions on carbonated beverages are in keeping with federal regulations that bar them from cafeterias where government-sponsored lunches and breakfasts are offered.

But the restriction does not extend to high-sugar iced teas and juice drinks, available in 13 of Dover High's 15 vending machines.

"What we've seen is a big increase in consumption of noncarbonated beverages," Etherly said, "and we think you can enjoy them as part of a healthy and active lifestyle."

But is iced tea better?

David Grier, a 14-year-old freshman, bought a 20-ounce bottle of Nestea for $1 from a machine in one of Dover High's main hallways. The bottle contained three servings and, depending on flavoring, up to 60 grams of sugar - the equivalent of 14.3 teaspoons.

"I don't drink sodas," David said. "Sodas are not healthy for you."

His mother, Beverly Smith, said later she shuns soda at home in favor of milk, juices and, occasionally, iced tea. She said she did not object to vending machines in the schools.

"If people want to have sodas in moderation, I think that's fine," David said. "Parents need to teach their kids what to buy and what not to buy."

Coke and Pepsi spokesmen acknowledged the obesity problem, but said soft drinks and sugar were unduly demonized. The lack of exercise by young people is the real culprit, they said.

David Goslee, on-premises food service director for Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. of Salisbury, Md., said Pepsi hoped the agreements would foster brand loyalty. But he said they mainly are a response to schools seeking help with money shortfalls, especially for athletic programs.

"They came to us with needs that we were able to fill as a community-involved bottler," said Goslee, who oversees agreements with 10 Delaware school districts.

Opponents understand why the agreements are hard to resist, given shortfalls in funding for education.

"We're not talking about a small amount of money," said Arthur Paul, president of Dover High School's Parent-Teacher Organization. His daughter, Alyse, is a junior at Dover High.

"I could see where people could have concerns," he said. "But the fact of the matter is there's money that directly benefits the schools, the teachers and everyone involved."

Some school officials, such as Sandra Thompson, Caesar Rodney's food services supervisor, said the potential harm of the vending contracts is not worth the added revenue.

"We don't have one and, no, we're not interested in having one," Thompson said. "They're not for the benefit of the district or the children. We purchase things that we feel are best for our children's health and well-being."

Pam Gouge, a registered dietician who supervises food services in the Brandywine School District, heads a committee of the Delaware Action for Healthy Kids Coalition, the state affiliate of a national organization headed by former Surgeon General David Satcher that is trying to improve the health of schoolchildren.

The coalition last year recommended a set of voluntary

standards to limit high-fat and sugar-laden snacks in school cafeterias. Urging a voluntary ban on school vending machines is a possibility, but Gouge said a legislative mandate might not be the best option. A better approach, she said, might be allowing nutritionists and other school officials to decide which products to offer.

"There's some good things about these agreements," Gouge said. "They bring in money that the school districts desperately need. If we can dictate what goes into those machines, it can be a win-win situation for us."

Conley, the Smyrna vending machine opponent, said it is possible to make money selling more healthful fare.

She has set up her own milk concession that she said is turning a consistent profit.

"Believe it or not," she said, "a lot of kids like it."

Oleg Volk
January 9, 2004, 02:56 PM
I recall forgoing soda in favor of bringing juice cartons from home because the extra 30 cents were too much's that for the positive effects of being cheap? Then again, I do notice that it is literally cheaper to make real food along the lines of a pork chop dinner with trimmings, than to buy pre-cooked, heavily processed food that isn't as good.

Just to turn this discussion back to our favorite topic... Bernie White told of making semi-auto lifes at the school workshop and displaying them at the end of the school year. As recently as the laste 80s and early 90s, it was possible to come to school armed. Seeing the direction of the trend, I'd say that home schooling is the way.

Best students I have in college are mostly home-schooled. Seeing Mamo06's family was another argument for that solution. Maybe home-schoolers here could chime in.

We can argue about the ways to fix schools but the problem is that, unless we do it ourselves or contract chosen individuals to do it for us, we'll never like the results.

January 10, 2004, 01:29 AM
Oleg, I agree that home schooling can be a great tool to parents who are unhappy with their school system. But, I don't think it's a cure-all as I have two cousins who are a perfect example of how the system can be abused. The older of the two is one year younger than me and "graduated" when she was 16. When she graduated, she wasn't even proficient in algebra and pretty much met the bare minimum to get a diploma, which is nowhere near what is needed to get into a real university. Her sister is currently on the same track to nowhere. Again, I'm not trying to say that home schooling is a bad thing, but it's hardly a solution to all of our public schools' problems.

January 10, 2004, 02:49 AM

Stop smoking, drink water

Nicotine-laced bottled water headed for stores, but some groups protest.
May 24, 2002: 10:21 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Nicotine-laced bottled water, the latest in a recent string of controversial products for people trying to quit smoking, will hit store shelves this summer if the product's manufacturer has its way.

California-based Quick Test Five hopes to have its Nico Water on the market by July, its chief executive says. But the product is being introduced on the heels of a controversy about the dangers of nicotine lollipops and lip balm. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning last month to pharmacies saying those products pose a danger to children.

Nico Water is apparently trying to find a niche for its product based on a new school of thought among some researchers. The theory is that some smokers just can't quit, but an alternative nicotine source may reduce smoking rates for others.

The water, to be sold for $2 per half-liter bottle, is said to taste like regular water and is being marketed to help people quit smoking and provide an alternative for smokers who are restricted from lighting up in restaurants or airplanes.

Critics claim that the water poses danger to kids because it looks and tastes like regular water and could be addictive.

"It should be regulated. It has a highly addictive drug in it," Danny Goldrick of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids told CNN. "And it's intended to help smokers treat nicotine addiction."

The group, along with the American Cancer Society and some other health groups, petitioned the FDA in December to review the product's safety, USA Today reported Friday. The FDA is still reviewing the petition.

But according to Quick Test Five CEO Steve Reder the company goes to great lengths to make sure the product is used safely -- and by those over the age of 18.

"We are a firm believer of the 'we card' system," Reder said. "We expect everybody to be carded at 18. Our bottles are packaged as 18 years and older product. Our bottles are tamper-proof. They are sold in two-pack and four-pack configurations. We are very very cautious about this bottle and who is going to drink this."

While the FDA regulates nicotine patches and gum because of their health claims, it does not have control over cigarettes or other tobacco products, USA Today said in its report.

Each bottle of Nico Water contains 4 milligrams of nicotine, equal to about two cigarettes or a stick of nicotine gum. While nicotine is addictive, it does not cause cancer. Other ingredients in cigarettes are carcinogenic.So there it is. Notice the recurring theme of how its for the protection of the children?

Notice how this water blows a great big hole in their health and cancer claims?

They demand that restaurants and aircraft be smoke free and now they will demand that they be nicotine free as well. They have left smokers no choice but to get their nicotine fix through other sources because they have made a pariah out of them.

I am never at a loss for amusement at these people's antics. They decry smoking as addictive, and that those who smoke are addicts; but never see that they are addicted to controlling other people's lives.

I once had a guy on a radio program who stated that it was unfair that smokers got more work breaks than other workers. I called in and told him that they have more breaks because people like him had demanded they go outside to smoke. If they were allowed to remain at their station and smoke while working, they would not take those breaks. I told him that it was for one simple reason because he told them to so he should stop whining about them complying with his demands.

He was NOT pleased but had no comeback besides "They should stop smoking".

January 10, 2004, 03:14 AM,0,1132994.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines

Rite Aid Pulls NicoWater in Maine Stores

Associated Press Writer
Jan 9, 2004

PORTLAND, Maine -- Bottles of nicotine-laced water were pulled from the shelves of Rite Aid drug stores in Maine as legislators considered whether to ban the product.

A Rite Aid spokeswoman said the company removed bottles of NicoWater for sale in its 80 Maine stores Wednesday night, shortly after a legislative health committee voted 6-5 for a measure to outlaw the product until it's approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The bill would need full Senate and House approval to become law.

Jody Cook, a spokeswoman for Rite Aid, said the company decided to stop selling the product in Maine because it wanted to be a good corporate citizen. BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Rite Aid, based in Camp Hill, Pa., has 3,400 stores nationwide.

"We're currently evaluating whether we will pull it from shelves across the chain," Cook said.

State Sen. John Martin took aim at NicoWater last spring when he saw ads touting the product as a cigarette substitute for people who have nicotine cravings in non-smoking environments.

The product is sold in four-packs of half-liter bottles, each of which has 4 mg of nicotine, an amount equal to that in two cigarettes. Martin said NicoWater poses a threat, especially to children, and carries no health benefits. Then how is it going to be regulated by the FDA if it has, by the bill's author, no health benefits?

Executives QT 5 Inc., the California-based company that makes NicoWater, were traveling on Thursday and were unavailable for comment. The company president has said that new laws that ban smoking in bars and other establishments underscore the need for nicotine substitutes.

The FDA blocked the sale of NicoWater in 2002, saying what producers called a dietary supplement was actually a drug. The water went on the market after QT 5 reclassified NicoWater as a "homeopathic nicotinum formula." This means that this product still falls outside of the FDA's purvue.

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

Paula Zahn interview with manufacturer and dissenter (

FDA rules NicoWater as being unapproved drug (

January 10, 2004, 03:35 AM
This may be specific to my region but, one thing that i am noticing around here is a growing gap between highschool education and universities. It seems that the graduation standards of our local highschools are not meeting the entrance standards of local universities. The current "fix" for this is an elaborate system of community colleges to take up the slack, sorta playing the role of pre-post-secondary schools. Personalyl i think its sad that a kid can graduate highschool with decent grades then end up taking three quarters of sub-college level math (no credit) just to catch up. This problem is most pronounced in math classes. Average math placement around here is something like "math 80" that means about 3 quarters before you even start getting math credit. But, it is also starting to appear more and more in the English subjects as well. Im seeing more and more kids ending up in sub 100 level English as well. When i started college (5 years ago) there wasnt even an English placement test for native speakers, it was simply assumed that a highschool grad was good to go into English 101. THe end result is that 4 year degrees are starting to take more like 6 years. And we arent talking about slacker students either. These are kids that did just fine in public highschool.

In otherwords, obesity, though it may be a big problem is FAR from the thing that public schools should be most concerned about. How about actually EDUCATING the kids for a change?

January 10, 2004, 03:38 AM
Nicotine gum is OTC right? If so, this water should be too IMO. Some dumb kid who says "OMG it has nicotine so it must be almost as cool as cigarettes" is going to be just as likely to buy the gum as he/she is to buy the water.

January 10, 2004, 04:21 AM
I liked the part in the Paula Zahn interview where the manufacturer stated that the gum has a recommended dosage that could be as high as 88 mg/day whereas his company recommends 2 bottles/day or 8mg.

When Zahn asked "what happens if you drink more than two bottles?", he answered "How much water can you really drink? That's really what it amounts to." :evil:

January 10, 2004, 04:29 AM
lol I'm not sure which is more ridiculous; the suggestion that you can't chew more than the recommended daily dose of nicotine gum or that you can't drink more than a liter of water a day:D

January 10, 2004, 05:58 AM
OK.....I know this is thread creep, but here's an example of the English skills of modern public school students in the great state of MD.......from another forum I lurk on.....

im totally against racist ppl, n i dotn even accosiate with them...its stupid to treat ppl differently because of what color they Fredro Starr feat. Jill Scott_say in "Shinning Through" from the Save The Last Dace soundtrack, "We all the same color when you turn out the lights". hes absolutly, whites, mexican, asian, doesnt matter, we're all the same n u shouldnt judge sum1 by the way they look or the color of their skin.....i remember one day at lunch, some of the JV football team, which was mostly black, were sittin at th elunch table.....there was one white boy who was also on the football team who was sittin with them....Mrs.Williams saw the one white boy sittin with the other black kids, went over to the white boy n i quote, "Please get up and go sit with your own color". im not makin this up, this is truly what she said no matter how much she denys it, those exact words came out her mouth

January 10, 2004, 08:44 AM
lol I'm not sure which is more ridiculous; the suggestion that you can't chew more than the recommended daily dose of nicotine gum or that you can't drink more than a liter of water a day

In order to even get to the recomended dosage of nicotene in the gum one would have to drink 20 bottles of the stuff. Now assuming they are 1/2 litre apiece thats 10 litres of water a day. Show me someone who can do THAT consistantly and ill show you someone with bigger problems than smoking.

January 10, 2004, 11:06 AM
lol I'm not sure which is more ridiculous; the suggestion that you can't chew more than the recommended daily dose of nicotine gum or that you can't drink more than a liter of water a dayDrinking that much water is far more likely to cause hydrointoxication than any high one might experience from the nicotine.

A college student recently died as a result of hydrointoxication (hyponatremia) after drinking a s---load of water in a hazing incident.

Here is a site that explains hyponatremia

An article about personal experience of a woman who was drinking 12 L/day

Death due to hyponatremia coupled with Extacy use

Parents charged in death of four-year-old due to hyponatremia

Infants are particularly susceptible.

Are you still LOL?

January 10, 2004, 11:53 AM
Jim, those stories are definitely sad, but drinking one liter of water in a day (or even two liters) isn't going to cause hyponatremia in an adult. There are plenty of people out there who drink a gallon of water a day without any negative side effects.

January 10, 2004, 04:29 PM
Screwed up this post, please see the unscrewed post below.

January 10, 2004, 06:51 PM
Um, actually we are in complete agreement Jim.

Heres my post: In order to even get to the recomended dosage of nicotene in the gum one would have to drink 20 bottles of the stuff. Now assuming they are 1/2 litre apiece thats 10 litres of water a day. Show me someone who can do THAT consistantly and ill show you someone with bigger problems than smoking.

In other words we both agree that in order to overdose on the nicotene in the water one would have to drink so much of it as to risk major complications from the water alone. In other words im agreeing with the manufacturer. You really cant drink enough of the stuff to OD on the nicotene.

January 10, 2004, 07:14 PM
OOPS!! I grabbed the wrong handle when I posted. I meant to post nico as the author of the post, not you, c_yeager.

I will repost the corrected text below.


January 10, 2004, 07:17 PM
Reposted with my brain engaged. Apologies to all.

You apparently missed my point. I was responding to your contention wherein you posted:or that you can't drink more than a liter of water a dayYou were stating, by your post, that even though the manufacturer recommends two bottles -- or one liter total containing eight milligrams of nicotine -- that would not stop someone from drinking as many as they wanted.

The fallacy of that contention, however, is that for a person to get as much nicotine from the water as they would the maximum recommended dosage of gum -- twenty-two sticks/day for an 88 milligram total dosage -- they would have to drink twenty-two bottles or eleven liters/day.

If you will recall, in the one story at the woman was drinking twelve liters/day of plain water and was getting sick.

In addition, if you factor in the overall daily cost of eleven liters/day it would be quite prohibitive.

January 11, 2004, 01:19 AM
Jim, you're right, I missed your point. From your previous post, it sounded like the manufacturer of the water was trying to imply that one couldn't drink more than a liter of water a day. I see what you were saying, and I agree. Like I said before: IMO, if nicotine gum and nicotine patches are allowed to be sold OTC, this water should be too.

January 11, 2004, 03:34 AM
Agreed. I also see no reason that this product should not be sold over the counter.

The antis say that it contains a powerful, addictive drug but they could say the same thing about over-the-counter sales of coffee and alcohol.

This is an article, which has been slightly edited, that first appeared in The Nation magazine called Generation wired: caffeine is the new drug of choice for kids (

There is also a June 10, 2003 television report called Kids & Caffeine: Are Your Kids Too Wired? (

The original unedited article from The Nation Generation wired: caffeine is the new drug of choice for kids. can be read HERE (

It is a subscription site but allows a seven day free trial so all you have to do is sign up and download the article.

So the new purveyor of drugs to teenagers is Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and Coca-Cola.

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