Doctors Recommend Soft Drink Ban - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/07/04 - Lufkin

Doctors Recommend Soft Drink Ban

Story By Wade Cameron

Visit any school cafeteria and you'll probably find them: soft drinks. Their popularity has given doctors cause for concern. So much so that the American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on all school campuses to ban soft drinks... saying they are a major contributor to obesity in children. But that's something soft drink makers deny.

"We have a wide selection of drinks and we leave it to the school administration to decide what is best for their communities," said Kari Bjorhus, spokeperson for Coca-Cola.

And the war on cola is putting school administrators in a tough position.

"In perspective of our last contract with Coca-Cola, it was just under 900-thousand dollars contract for 10 years," said Lufkin ISD Superintendent David Sharp. "But when we signed that contract it was for a coke type product and that's not the case anymore."

Lufkin ISD, like many school districts, has a contract with Coca-Cola to allow the sale of drinks on campus. In return the campus is given grants to help supplement school funds. In recent years the school has changed it's policies concerning soft drinks...banning their sale during school hours. But Sharp says schools should not be the first line of defense.

"It's not a school problem, it's a society problem," said Sharp. "When you can go and get the big gulps at theaters... Children have much more access to drinks outside of school than they do at school."

Even so, it's clear that the controversy over cola in the lunch room is likely to continue as many children's waistlines expand.

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