You Can Make a Difference

Earlier this week I wrote of the encouraging news of Chicago schools banning soda from school vending machines. Today we learn of a report from England that shows a one-year campaign discouraging both sweetened and diet soft drinks led to a decrease in the percentage of elementary school children who were overweight or obese. This makes perfect sense as each can of soda a child consumes as a daily average increases their risk of obesity by 60 percent. Scientifically, this is related to the high-fructose corn syrup that is used as a sweetener in sodas.

This is a serious issue because nearly 20 million children under 5 are overweight. Considering that the consumption of soft drinks has increased 500 percent in the last 50 years, it is high time we started reversing this trend. You can make a difference by taking an aggressive effort in your local school district to:

  • Get the sodas out of the vending machines
  • Replace it with alternatives that do not use high-fructose corn syrup, so no sports drinks
  • Lobby for aggressive educational interventions like they did in London to teach children that drinking soda will make them fat

It is vital that you hold administrators responsible for these basic foundational concepts. They need to understand that an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure down the road.

New York Times April 23, 2004

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