Monday, September 17, 2007

What's Your Kid Drinking?

The Times reports that the soft drink industry, facing a ban one way or the other, is voluntarily banishing full-calorie soft drinks from schools. Instead, kids will be able to buy juice, sports drinks, and diet soda. They'll also be able to buy things like "vitamin water," basically sugar water with a few mushed up Flintstones tablets added.

This is one very rare area where NYC has led the way. Mayor Bloomberg banished soda from city schools a few years back and accepted a no bid contract from Snapple to fill machines like the one above. He also banished white flour from cafeterias, so now school burgers, terrible though they are, are served on whole-wheat buns.

Juice has as many calories as soda, but some say natural sugar is better than processed sugar. Kids will take what they can get, and will happily suck down juice rather than Pepsi. Why they need sports drinks and vitamin water is anyone's guess, but it's a moderate improvement.

Unfortunately, it doesn't preclude any of the the bad choices they're likely to make when they leave school, and that's probably where we ought to be focusing our energies.
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