Soda Companies Will Stop Stocking Pop In School Vending Machines

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

The three major soda companies have agreed to remove regular soda from public school vending machines by 2009.

The move is an effort to combat childhood obesity.

"I think this is an important change. I think it's a tough change but I think it's important to do this," says Frank Kelly, Food Service Director for the Madison School district.

As big as this announcement is, he says Madison is working on new rules that may be tougher. Under the national agreement, diet sodas and some sports drinks will still be in the vending machines. "We go a step beyond what they do. We're looking at eliminating all pop sales, not just the regular pop sales. I think it works well with what we're already proposing," says Kelly.

Julie Kreunen is a Clinical Dietician at St. Mary's Hospital. She wants the agreement to go even further, limiting size as well as the choices. "To go for lower, smaller volume amounts. 8 oz. sizes if possible, 12 oz maximum as far as juice offerings."

As you might expect, some high school students we spoke with aren't happy. "I think they shouldn't take out the pop because kids should be able to drink whatever they want. We're in high school. We're old enough to make our own decisions," says LaFollette freshman Kim Christianson.

Freshman Chanel Session says shey'll just buy it elsewhere. "I think that kids will just go to Walgreens right there. I just came back from Walgreens. It wouldn't be a big difference."

Still, Kelly thinks more kids will drink less soda. "Many times students who buy pop from a vending machine are thirsty and want something to drink. They're still going to be thirsty so they may not be as happy about it but they'll end up with water or juice instead."

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