Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 2005

School vending guidelines adopted

Lawrence school rules already limit kinds of beverages allowed

November 23, 2005


For the past seven years, Paula Murrish has served as the food services director for Lawrence public schools.

She said as long as she's been with the district there's been a ban on beverage vending machines in elementary schools. Junior high schools have vending machines, but they're not turned on during school hours.

And last year, high school students got new rules regarding their options. Now, at least 50 percent of beverages sold in the machines are noncarbonated drinks.

The rest of the state now seems poised to catch up to the Lawrence school district.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Beverage Assn. announced the adoption of the beverage vending guidelines put forth by the American Beverage Assn. last August. The rules limit what drinks can be sold at vending machines on school property during school hours.

Murrish credits the Lawrence school board for the policy already in place locally, which meets or exceeds the new recommended standards.

Free State High School senior Nathan Desetti makes a purchase Tuesday at one of the Coke machines at the high school. Concessions will be made by the vending companies to offer healthier drinks, although Lawrence schools already have options other than soda.

Free State High School senior Nathan Desetti makes a purchase Tuesday at one of the Coke machines at the high school. Concessions will be made by the vending companies to offer healthier drinks, although Lawrence schools already have options other than soda.

"In reading those (new guidelines) we felt we were already up to standard and have been for several years," she said.

The KBA policy allows elementary students access to vending machines with only water and 100 percent juice drinks.

Junior high students will only be able to buy water, 100 percent juice drinks, sports drinks, no-calorie soft drinks and low-calorie juice drinks during school hours. They will have access to full-calorie soft drinks and full-calorie juice drinks, but only after school hours.

High school students will have no restrictions on what they can purchase, but only if less than half of the beverages available are soft drinks.

These guidelines are only suggestions and compliance with them is entirely voluntary.

State Rep. Jason Watkins, R-Wichita, said if the industry did not use these guidelines to self-regulate, the Legislature would have to look at turning the suggestions into law. That's something he said won't be necessary now.

"Pressure from peers will keep the program working, " he said.

Ron Hein, executive director of the Kansas Beverage Assn., said he is confident the majority of beverage suppliers will comply.

"Our members meet face to face with parents, school officials and community leaders, and we've heard firsthand their concerns about childhood obesity. Because we value these relationships, we will continue to work closely with them to do what is best for our young people," Hein said.


gccs14r 9 years, 10 months ago

High-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, carbonated water, aluminum, and all the other nasties in packaged beverages should be kept as far away from children as possible. What's wrong with having a water fountain?

dex 9 years, 10 months ago

awesome! micromanaging vending machines is way better than helping students to learn on their own how to make good choices in life. now we need a kansas clothing association to tell them what to wear. and maybe a kansas thinking association to tell them what to ... oh, nevermind. we already have one of those.

dex 9 years, 10 months ago

and what's the point of allowing 100% juice drinks? juice has just about as much sugar as soda pop ... so if reducing obesity is the aim of limiting vending machine selection, then juice shouldn't be available either.

badger 9 years, 10 months ago

Dex, that depends on what's meant by 100% juice drinks. True 100% juice, with no added sugars, doesn't contain nearly as much sugar as regular 'juices' do.

Myself, I'm bothered by the inclusion of diet soda at all on a list purporting to include 'healthier' alternatives. The only things that diet soda is healthier than are regular soda and malted battery acid. There are health risks associated with sugar alternatives that go way beyond obesity, not to mention that soft drinks can interfere with calcium uptake.

glockenspiel 9 years, 10 months ago

We had similiar rules in my high school. We just drove to the kwik shop to get a coke instead, which turned a 12 oz can into a 32 oz fountain cup.

gccs14r 9 years, 10 months ago

We bounced around a lot, so I saw many different school districts. Even in those districts that allowed vending machines, none of the products dispensed from them were allowed in the classrooms.

gccs14r 9 years, 10 months ago

One final comment: close lunch. Letting the kids loose to go smoke a bowl, bone their partners, or do the other things kids do when they're off by themselves for an hour at midday does neither them nor their better-behaved classmates any good when the bell rings. Glockenspiel's comment above is somewhat incomplete, in that a 32-oz cup often has more than just pop in it.

baco 9 years, 10 months ago

As a person who cares both about the health of my children, and of my students, I am all for getting rid of soda in vending machines. Aspartame mimicks ADHD, caffeine mimicks ADHD and causes memory lapses.

We have different rules in my district. No vending machines in elementary or middle schools, none! The vending machines at the high schools are turned off from 30 minutes before lunch to 30 minutes after lunch, and freshmen and sophomores are not allowed off campus. Granted, this doesn't eliminate the drug and sex problems in schools today, but it does make them slightly less accessible. Any efforts that help should be made, simply because if I can save at least one person, then I'll put forth the effort. If more people get saved along the way, then that's icing on the cake!

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