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Profits Yes, Sodas No
Governor Schwartzenegger wants junk food out of schools but even if the bill passes, next fall's freshmen will get most of the way through high school chugging sodas because the bill in the Assembly wouldn't take effect until 2009. That's why individual districts need to show some gumption and stick up for kids' health now.

Empty Calories
One 20-ounce soda has 17 teaspoons of sugar, for a whopping 250 empty calories, more than a tenth of a person's daily calories.

To work off 250 calories requires 4 hours and 20 minutes of bicycling. And the average male teen drinks two or three sodas a day, girls on average drink two. Do you see kids on their bikes 8 hours a day?

Ethical Dilemma
"You can't get something for nothing," doesn't apply here because, with sodas, you're getting nothing for something. If school administrators really want the money, why not just sell cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and heroin which are very profitable. Or lottery tickets. Pornography?

Remember the axiom, "There is no such thing as a free lunch" Schools that can't resist $125,000 up front from Coke or Pepsi, plus a percentage of profits from vending machine sales. They forget what a sorry example of selling out that sets for our students.

Think about it. A lot of the most profitable products are illegal for kids because they appeal to the human weakness for mind-bending, exciting, or addictive substances or experiences.

Seriously, for big time profits, schools could sell DVDs, CDs, games, shoes, and team logo items. . . .

Win / Win Vending Machines
It shows a meager imagination when administrators won't consider alternatives. Enid Hohn, food director in Vista School District, bought vending machines, had students choose their favorite healthy foods and beverages, hired SmartServe.com to stock the machines and now makes thousands of dollars a month profit for the district. http://www.omega3sforkids.org/vista2.shtml

Alternative Fund Raising Ideas
Adults Spelling Bee to Zoo Face Painting, with ideas like Karaoke Night, Scrabble Tournament, Teacher Torture, visit: http://www.fundraising-ideas.org/DIY/index.html

Pediatrics Group: No Sodas in Schools
January 5, 2004
Sodas are not merely devoid of nutrition, they are actually harmful.
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- 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. http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/01/05/no.sodas.ap/

Health Problems
Even as little as one or two sodas per day is undeniably connected to a myriad of pathologies. The most commonly associated health risks are obesity, diabetes and other blood sugar disorders, tooth decay, osteoporosis and bone fractures, nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, food addictions and eating disorders, neurotransmitter dysfunction from chemical sweeteners, and neurological and adrenal disorders from excessive caffeine. http://www.appliedhealth.com/ahs_digest/digest090101.html

One of our greatest concerns is the high level of added sugars in popular beverages. The research points to corn syrup as not only a source of empty calories, being from 10 to 20% of a child's daily calories, but it is implicated in the epidemic of youth onset diabetes. http://www.mercola.com/2004/may/26/corn_syrup_diabetes.htm

Steep Increase in Consumption
In 1998, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) warned the public that soft drink companies were beginning to infiltrate our schools and kid clubs. Over a period of fifty years, soft drink production increased nine times, and by 1998 provided more than one-third of all refined sugars in the diet. http://www.appliedhealth.com/ahs_digest/digest090101.html#ankrOne

Fifty-six percent of 8-year-olds down soft drinks daily, and a full third of teenage boys drink at least three cans of soda a day. www.wrightnewsletter.com

Sports Drinks No Better
Some popular flavored sports and energy drinks destroy tooth enamel more effectively than cola drinks. . . . [A] study, published in the March issue of General Dentistry, found that the most caustic beverage was KMX Energy Drink, followed closely by Snapple Classic Lemonade, Red Bull Energy Drink, and lemon-lime Gatorade. Carbonation, the authors say, is not an important factor in dental erosion. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/04/05/MNGP0C35QO1.DTL&type;=health

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?
Aspartame: This chemical is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures. Further, when aspartame is stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas it changes to methanol, an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde and formic acid, which are known carcinogens. http://www.mercola.com/2003/jul/9/soda_dangers.htm

Last evening after dinner I began to feel flush. My husband commented how red my face was getting and, sure enough, one glance in the mirror confirmed a bright red, tight, shiny visage staring back at me. In the next few hours my eyes began to swell. I went to bed hoping I could "sleep it off." How wrong I was. This morning I got up and my face was still red, bright and swollen with puffy eyes. I am a pharmacist and I have seen many anaphylactoid (allergic) reactions before. I began to feel concerned that I too was having one. . . . I remembered that I had had a cup of coffee and had tried the new creamer sitting by the pot. I remembered the Splenda label on it, which prompted my husband and I to search the Web and we found your site. http://www.mercola.com/2000/dec/3/sucralose_testimonials.htm

Parents Oppose Junk
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in a national survey last year, found that 91% of parents favored vending machine restrictions. Furthermore, the California PTA is opposed to sodas in schools.

Good Beverages Don't Lose Revenue
At Venice High, revenue initially dipped but then revived. Sales there in April 2003 were $7,054, or $1,190 less than the previous April, before the restrictions. But the next month, sales bounced back to $7,382, up from the previous May's $6,163. And there was a noticeable [positive] change in the school culture. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/04/05/MNGP0C35QO1.DTL&type;=health

Students Charged above Retail
"We are forgetting about our students. We are charging above retail" . . . . Conner said that one local school district has a deal where they are able to buy a case of 16 ounce bottles of water for $6.22, roughly 26 cents a bottle, and sell those bottles to kids at 50 cents, while still making a profit.

Is it fair for schools to use the monopoly power of vending machines to overcharge students for items that would cost less at the super market? The money raised is to benefit students but when a hefty profit goes to Pepsi or Coke, it costs kids a lot more than if they were simply charged a Student Activities Fee to be used for band uniforms and football helmets. http://www.mywebpal.com/news/partners/701/public/news511022.html

Legal Liability
Finally, here are a few paragraphs from a NY Times article about legal action. A school district that sells worthless food to students for the sake of profit is open to serious liability from legal action.

NY Times, April 9, 2004
Lawyers Shift Focus From Big Tobacco to Big Food
Lawyers who have made their careers defending the makers of breast implants, guns and tobacco are working from a new playbook. Make portions smaller, they advise food clients. Do not fudge the fat grams. Skip ''problem ingredients.''

. . . . The greatest likelihood, however, is that the cases will involve children. "You're never going to get anybody holding for an adult who goes in and eats too many Quarter Pounders," said John Coale, a plaintiffs' lawyer in tobacco and asbestos cases preparing for suits against food companies. "The issue is about what goes on with the kids, the advertising, what's in schools. That's an issue that has some oomph to it."

Potential targets include contracts involving "pouring rights," where soft drink companies require schools to serve only their products, and advertising directed at children.

"If I could choose what kind of case to begin with, it would have been that, under state consumer protection acts against somebody who was continuing to market heavily to kids," said Richard M. Daynard, who directed the Tobacco Products Liability Project at Northeastern University School of Law and is now director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute there. Mr. Daynard says the institute will file suits against the food industry within the year. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/health/article-page.html?res=9805E6DF1238F93AA35757C0A9629C8B63


Lauren Ayers

James Curiel, PhD
Professor, Sociology

Don Glines
Educational Futures

Hasan Hanks

Jeanie Keltner, PhD
Editor, Because People Matter

Michael J. Kwiker, D.O.

William Mora, M.D.
Health Associates Medical Group

Susan Montoya

Cynthia Mulcaire

Carlina Nowrocki

Robert O’Brien, MA

Suiying Saechao
Member LEAF at Hiram Johnson HS

Charity Smith
President Youth Congress at Sac High