It's been cool to bash soft drinks lately. Some recent media reports have said that carbonated beverages like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the reason that most American children are fat.
In response, soda pop bottlers agreed to put more juice, water and milk in their vending machines at schools.
But nutrition researchers at Georgetown University warn parents not to single out soda.
Four new studies by Georgetown's Center for Food and Nutrition Policy say soft drink consumption by children is not linked to pediatric obesity, poor diet quality or a lack of exercise.
One study of 12- to 16-year-olds shows no relationship between the consumption of regular carbonated soft drinks and (body mass index) BMI, a measurement for obesity, said Maureen Storey, associate director of the center.
The biggest factor in fighting obesity is exercise.
"As educators, we need to stress the vital role of physical activity for all students, not just the best athletes chosen for the varsity sports teams," Storey said.
Big band to perform in Colby
Twenty of the best band directors and musicians from Kansas and Missouri will take the stage Saturday at the Cultural Arts Center on the Colby Community College campus.
The free Flatland Big Band concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Darrell Cox, a student at Lawrence High School, will be one of the many students who will perform swing, rock, ballad and Latin songs.
For more information, call Julie Groom at (785) 462-3984, extension 308.
Mall promotes giving, growing
West Ridge Mall in Topeka has launched a campaign to benefit area youth programs.
The campaign, "The More You Give The More Kids Grow," is part of a national partnership between the Simon Youth Foundation and the Salvation Army to raise money for Salvation Army service centers and other youth-related programs.
Contributions can be dropped off throughout the mall, 21st Street and Wanamaker Road, in the yellow collection cans.
For more information, call the Topeka office of the Simon Property Group at (785) 272-0812.