Schools Should Not Sell Soda Because of Obesity Concerns, Pediatricians Say
Schools should eliminate soda from vending machines and sell only real fruit and vegetable juices, water and low-fat milk as part of an effort to reduce childhood obesity, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement published Monday in the January issue of Pediatrics, the Chicago Sun-Times reports (Ritter, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/5). The policy statement recommends that physicians contact school superintendents and school board members to "emphasize the notion that every school in every district shares a responsibility for the nutritional health of its students," the AP/Chicago Tribune reports. The policy statement also recommends that elementary and high schools avoid future contracts with soft drink vending companies and apply restrictions to existing contracts. Dr. Robert Murray, the policy's lead author, said the AAP statement is intended to give parents and school officials "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, the AP/Chicago Tribune reports (AP/Chicago Tribune, 1/5). The National Soft Drink Association said that the proposed soda ban "would go too far" and that lack of physical activity is the primary cause of childhood obesity, the Sun-Times reports. According to the AAP, between 56% and 85% of school children consume at least one soft drink daily (Chicago Sun-Times, 1/5). The AAP policy statement is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.