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Philly public schools go soda free! email to your school board



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 11th 03, 01:12 AM
Maurice
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Default Philly public schools go soda free! email to your school board

Please email this article to the members of your local School Board.

Help stop the soda companies from pushing caffeinated sugar water on
our kids.

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/n...al/6260814.htm
Wed, Jul. 09, 2003


Phila. schools to can sales of soda
By Marian Uhlman and Susan Snyder
Inquirer Staff Writers

Alarmed by students' poor nutrition and a growing obesity problem,
Philadelphia plans to ban the sale of soda in public schools, schools
chief executive Paul G. Vallas said yesterday.

"It is safe to say that there will be ... no soda in the schools," he
said. "There is a consensus [on the School Reform Commission that]
what is sold in the schools needs to be of nutritional value."

Philadelphia will join New York, Los Angeles, and several other major
urban districts in eliminating soft drinks from school buildings.

The Philadelphia ban won't become policy until the commission votes on
a beverage contract, according to Cecilia Cummings, a district
spokeswoman. The district plans to enter into negotiations for an
exclusive vending contract this summer.

Vallas said that juices and water would still be sold and that the
district would examine the nutritional quality of other beverages and
snacks sold in the schools.

As concern has mounted over the rising rate of childhood obesity and
related health problems, school districts around the country have
begun to set stricter food standards. New York City's school system
announced last month that it would eliminate soda, hard candy and
doughnuts from its vending machines. The Los Angeles Unified District
voted last year to ban carbonated beverages in all its schools,
effective next January.

"These are positive trends that we are going to continue to see across
the country as administrators and boards of education and others in
key positions recognize the link between what kids are eating in
school and obesity rates and other chronic diseases," said Tracy Fox,
a nutrition policy consultant in Bethesda, Md.

Though the issue of selling soft drinks and other sugary drinks has
snowballed in the last few years, it is not universal.

In the Palisades School District in Bucks County, the matter has not
been debated, and "there has not been any kind of public outcry,"
Board President James Beerer said. He said the high school offers
healthful choices, such as water and juice, as well as soda, and that
good nutrition is emphasized in classes.

"I think if schools provide a lot of choice and what traditionally
would be viewed as healthy offerings in addition to soda, you're
basically allowing students to make educated decisions," said Beerer,
who is also a retired high school principal of Quakertown High School.

The Hatboro-Horsham School District in Montgomery County does not sell
soda in any of its schools, Board President Thomas J. Hagan said. The
board considered reversing that policy several years ago, but decided
against it, he said.

"For health reasons, they didn't feel it was appropriate," he said.

Vending machines can generate significant income for schools, but also
are blamed for selling junk food. In particular, exclusive beverage
deals requiring schools to buy from one company have been criticized
by parents and nutrition advocates.

In advertising for bids last spring, the Philadelphia School District
said the "primary objective" of an exclusive deal would be to increase
revenue for its cash-strapped schools. The district encouraged
companies to consider "the opportunities that might be available" by
adding more vending machines and increasing use of their products,
"including carbonated beverages in the elementary schools."

But Vallas said yesterday that when members of the School Reform
Commission started to focus on the bids, they decided to steer clear
of soda and to stock vending machines with water and juices instead.

"The funding side always takes a backseat to health," he said.

Still, he said, the school district generally can do better with its
contracts. The beverage issue is part of a larger district effort to
review other contracts, he said. It's possible that none of the
current beverage bids would be approved, school officials said.

"It is terrific if they decide to implement a policy that no sodas are
in the schools and move beyond that to look at all foods that are sold
in schools to make them healthy and nutritious," said Duane Perry,
executive director of the Food Trust in Philadelphia, which is working
with the district to develop a school nutrition policy. "That would be
a great step forward."

Over the last few years, the assortment of beverages available in
school vending machines has increased. Now, water, 100 percent juice,
and sports drinks such as Powerade make up a quarter of sales, school
officials said.

Three years ago, the Philadelphia school board turned down a 10-year,
$43 million deal with Coca-Cola because it was not lucrative enough
and raised nutritional concerns.
  #2  
Old July 14th 03, 01:05 AM
Roseb441702
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Default Philly public schools go soda free! email to your school board

Really? Interesting!

I was under the impression that Pepsi and Coke were both fighting for the right
to be the school's only vendor.


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