Archive for Monday, January 23, 2006

Report: Sugary snacks should be suspended

January 23, 2006


Kansas schools have no business letting giant corporations peddle candy and sugary drinks to their students, according to a recent report by Kansas Action for Children.

"It's not good for kids," said Gary Brunk, executive director at Kansas Action for Children.

KAC released a report last week, showing that teenagers who drink a can of non-diet soda a day are likely to add 10 pounds to their normal body weight in a year.

A 12-oz. can of non-diet soda contains about 12 teaspoons of sugar.

The report, "Vending Machines in Kansas Schools: Jeopardizing the Student Body," noted that today's teenagers drink two to three times more soft drinks than their counterparts of 20 years ago. They're also drinking 40 percent less milk.

The shift in consumption coincides with increases in childhood obesity.

The report found that vending machines are in 98 percent of the nation's high schools, 89 percent of the junior highs and 43 percent of the elementary schools.

Lawrence High senior Mitchell White stocks a vending machine for non-carbonated drinks Friday afternoon in the school's cafeteria.

Lawrence High senior Mitchell White stocks a vending machine for non-carbonated drinks Friday afternoon in the school's cafeteria.

Most of the machines in the high schools and junior high schools are under exclusive contracts with a soft-drink company, usually Coke or Pepsi.

Brunk urged legislators to enact laws aimed at:

¢ Giving parents a say in the kinds of snacks sold in their children's schools.

¢ Denying students access to vending machines during school hours.

¢ Requiring vending companies to also offer bottled water and fruit juices at competitive prices.

¢ Discouraging student awards that involve food.

In Lawrence, school officials adopted polices aimed at curbing candy and soft-drink sales two years ago.

"We don't have vending machines in the elementary schools - except in the breakrooms," said Julie Boyle, a spokeswoman for Lawrence public schools. "In the junior highs, they're not turned on until after school."

Students at Lawrence and Free State high schools have access to vending machines throughout the day. But the choices include bottled water, fruit juices and sport drinks. At least half of the beverages are non-carbonated.

Candy bars are sold through the student-run stores in the high schools. The stores also sell granola bars, baked chips, muffins and cookies.

A committee is reviewing whether to add to the policies' restrictions.

"We're continually striving to meet a higher standard," said Paula Murrish, food services director for Lawrence public schools.

The district does not have an exclusive contract with a soft-drink company. School officials control what's sold in the vending machines."I think it's safe to say Lawrence is already doing much of what's recommended in the report," said Brunk, who lives in Lawrence.

Late last year, the Kansas Beverage Assn. adopted a set of voluntary guidelines, limiting the kinds of beverages to be sold on school property during school hours.

The effectiveness of the guidelines remains to be seen.


BrianR 12 years, 5 months ago

This is a no-brainer, why do we even have to ask a question like this? My two answers are no and hell no, this stuff should not be in our schools.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 4 months ago

Are you drinking enough water?

Our bodies are almost 75% water every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs water to function. Dehydration can result in heartburn, stomach ache, recurring or chronic pain (such as lower back pain and headaches), mental irritation, depression and (ironically) water retention. Dehydration is also the primary trigger of daytime fatigue. Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day might seem a little overwhelming, but about half of our daily intake of water comes from our food another good reason to include at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables in our daily diet. Cold water is absorbed more quickly into the system, making it more effective than hot drinks. Another disadvantage of coffee and tea is that they are both mild diuretics, so they stimulate the kidneys and increase urine output. Fruit juices and fizzy drinks are fine as sources of fluid, but can contribute to weight problems and tooth decay. Try diluting them and encouraging kids to alternate sweet drinks with water. It's cheaper, and better for them. If you're doing any kind of physical exercise, you'll need more water to replace the loss from sweat. But don't be fooled by the marketers of sports drinks and "smart water", who would have you believe that mere tap water isn't enough. Consumer magazine says that for exercise lasting less than 90 minutes, plain water is fine. For longer periods, a sports drink with added glucose and electrolytes may be beneficial. For the record, mainstream medical opinion remains firm on eight glasses of water a day for a normal teenager or adult, six glasses for over-fives and four glasses for under-fives. But remember, if you're an active person, if you're ill or breastfeeding, your needs will be greater. One simple indicator is your urine: if there is an odour, or a strong colour, you're probably not drinking enough.

Finally, there's one extra bonus. Water is an appetite suppressant and helps the body metabolise stored fat. So next time you feel that 4pm sugar craving coming on, don't reach for the chocolate bar head for the tap. 8 glasses a day

Here are some tips for getting into the healthy habit of drinking more water: Flavour chilled water with lemon juice or mint leaves. Serve water at the table with meals, and try attractive containers and glasses they may encourage the children to drink more. Carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Get a lap belt with a water carrier if you go running, walking or biking. Take a bottle of water for each person for journeys in the car. Kids love to have their own special bottle. Establish habits drink a glass of water before each meal, a glass on rising and another last thing before you go to bed. That's five glasses already!

Sigmund 12 years, 4 months ago

We can not continue to allow students to choose to what they eat, they may get the idea that they can make other choices we don't like! In fact, we need to check what parents feed their kids during the rest of the day, what they feed kids over the summer, and ban the sale of candy bars in Lawrence so some 'evil corporation' doesn't sell them sugar before or after school.

bankboy119 12 years, 4 months ago

Ridiculous, the kids can choose what they want.

mom_of_three 12 years, 4 months ago

As long as Coke donates money to the school district, the sugary stuff will still be there. And there is non-carbonated offered to the kids, but it much more expensive than pop.

mefirst 12 years, 4 months ago

I used to teach high school in an area school. I complained to the principal about kids bringing soft drinks to class. I didn't like it because it was a distraction and made a mess. His response to me was that the school makes $20,000/year off the soda machines, 1/2 of which goes to teacher perks like catered lunches during holidays and such. He basically told me to get over it, and let the kids have their soda.

harrierist 12 years, 4 months ago

I try an follow Dr. Peter J. A'damo's book on diets for your blood type. He has done quite a study on antigens in food and Blood type. For example people with type blood A they can't have potatoes in any form. A'Damo found the the antigens in the potato produce an auto immune response in the red blood cell. Well in the diets Type A, B, AB can't have High Fructose Corn Syrup. Blood type O people are the tough ones, they can damn near eat anything, Their genatic origins come from the Nomads in Africa and later the Nomads that strune across Europe and Northern Europe. The sucrose coming from Caine sugar does not cause the genetic immune response. Most of the soft drinks today use the cheaper corn syrup. Their is only one factory in the United States that is still licenced to make Dr. Pepper using the original receipe, using table sugar, and that is the plant in Stephenville Texas (where Tarlton State University is located). They still only bottle it in real glass bottles and take orders form all over the world. So if you want to taste a Dr. Pepper like it tasted in 1960 go to Stephenville Texas.

justathought 12 years, 4 months ago

we didn't have vending machines in our highschool but the deca club sold pop, chips and candy. I think taking it away isn't going to make kids less fat...they will just bring it from home. America is fat...get over it.

Ragingbear 12 years, 4 months ago

Poll also indicates Sky is blue, Grass is green.

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

mefirst said it best. No on cares if kids are fat as long as schools get money. Likewise, no on cares if kids are left behind or if they really learn anything, just so schools get money. Someone may want to look into if any company is sponsoring school lunches.

Don't forget that sales of soda adds tax to the city, too! Just follow the money.

sonny 12 years, 4 months ago

Well I went to FreeState High school and I drank from those vending michines mostly Power-Aid but when not power aid I drank grape soda. and It right next to the gyms and atletic area so it was easy to grab a soda on the way to or from practice. these sugar drinks don't help are prformance. When I went to college running track coach would not allow of to drink soft drinks but as in high school trully it was are choice. The coaches at free state look slighly down on the kids that chose to drink it becuae they know the effect. It should not be allowed in the school's but what if they told me on a very hot day I cold nnot have my grape soda i would have protested even thoght it took me being a college athlete to truley so the diffrent of my rformance when I drank these drinks and when I din't. It's a soft drink war of the mind. Like cig's be better not to have the inticment aorund peroid but we have seen witih smokes they not that forgiving.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 4 months ago

The twinkie police are coming. I bet you in a few years they will be trying to limit what sweets and what amount of junk food you can buy in the store. I'll bet you 10 bucks.

harrierist 12 years, 4 months ago

the original Bob, Potatoes in the Type A system and also tomatoes, interfere with effective digestion. Some of the white cells in the small intestine will start attacking the antigens in the potato cells you have just eaten. This over time can cause inflamation inthe mucus lining of the Small intestine. Now you may be able to tolerate them if your mother or father is an O blood type and as a result you own personal genetic code protects you. For example I can eat tomatoes, my mother is a type O. O's can eat tomatoes. Dr. A'Damo has a center up in New Hampshire where his home office is located. I have friend who is under his care now and has been dealing with Fibromyalgia and is feeling a hell of alot better, still has the disease, but by eating right according to his food list for her blood type, she says she can handle the rough days better. When you actually become a patient of his the study in detail your genetic history and if you are blended with another blood type because one of your parents is different than you, they will research what foods out of your basic blood type you can eat. For those that just buy the book and read it, they have to figure out on their own, what other foods out of their main line they can eat. Initially you know what food just don't agree with you, give you excess gas, cause abdominal cramping (with know blood loss etc. that might indicate coiltis or something), or diahreea. So get the book and read it...

Confrontation 12 years, 4 months ago

Conservative Man has some major issues. I bet he's almost thin, but incredibly ugly. Maybe his ugly genes shouldn't be passed on.

dex 12 years, 4 months ago

"KAC released a report last week, showing that teenagers who drink a can of non-diet soda a day are likely to add 10 pounds to their normal body weight in a year."

so how much weight does a teenager add to their "normal body weight" in a year if they don't drink soda? don't teenagers grow? is this statistic meant to read: teenagers will be 10 pounds heavier than they would otherwise be if they didn't drink soda? if so, then i doubt the claim is accurate because i drink 1 soda a day and i'm not gaining any weight. if not, well, who knows what it's supposed to mean.

more sloppy reporting passed off as "fact" by the ljworld.

Ember 12 years, 4 months ago

I went to high school in Nebraska. There were 3 fluid vending machine, 1 Pepsi, 1 Coke and 1 all juice. The all juice one was restocked maybe 5 times a month.

There is a Kwik Shop about 2 blocks from LHS and 1 on the way to FSHS. There is also a Dillion's near both, and a slew of fast food near both schools as well.

Bottom line is high school students are adult enough to make their own dietary choices. They are also adult enough to pay the price for their choices. If they can't buy a can in school for 50-75 cents, or whatever it is these days, they will just stop and get them at a grocery store or gas station.

At least this way, the schools get some kind of funding. It's obvious the state has no desire to fund them properly.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 4 months ago

I think it is sad and pathetic how we have allowed big corporations to do whatever they want in the name of the almighty dollar. When I was in high school (and it wasn't THAT long ago) we were not allowed to bring drinks or food into the classroom. It was a distraction AND it could create some big messes. Now, Coke gives the schools a couple of bucks and everything changes.

I'm glad that the Lawrence school district has made some changes to their policies. The inclusion of fruit juice is a good idea, but how much of those drinks are actually fruit juice? Usually the juices sold out of vending machines include about 10% fruit juice and the rest is sugar water. In addition, the serving size for juice is fairly small (as is soda) and there are almost 3 servings per 20 oz. bottle of juice. The same can be said of a 20 oz. bottle of soda.

Powerade and Gatorade are not much better. Yes, they can help replace electrolytes that are lost during heavy exercise. Most athletes don't come anywhere near the level of intensity, and duration, that would require the use of a drink like that.

If the school district feels that they must include vending machines in the schools, they should sell water. Lord knows that we've got enough little fatties walking around the school halls without the school district helping them get bigger.

Ember 12 years, 4 months ago

We allow high school students to drive automobiles. We entrust them with the thought that they are mature enough and adult enough to navigate a 2 ton missle.

And the dietary habits of a high school student while they are at school is hardly the deciding factor in their over all weight. As with everything else in the universe, there are other influencing factors in their weight. Lack of exercise and their diet at home are prime examples of how actions outside of school hours can affect things during school hours.

I was really hoping that no one would bring up the concept of high school students not being adult enough to think for themselves, but, sadly, it was brought up. Now if only some more thought had gone into the issue before it had been brought up, this particular post would not have been needed.

Ember 12 years, 4 months ago

Well, what age do you deem as being the proper age for being old enough to decide what constitutes 'good eating'?

Keep in mind that not all metabolisms are equal. Mine is roughly 2.5 times the average human metabolism, so I can eat a dozen doughnuts and not skip a beat, while others can hardly eat a single jelly bean without gaining 5 pounds.

harrierist 12 years, 4 months ago

Again it relates to what blood type you are and the metabolic rate that each blood type runs on. For example you take a native japanese who historically and gentically are A and B blood types. That are designed to eat vegetables and smal animals like pig and goat and course seafood. to make that person eat a type O diet (red meat and potatoes), they are going to be two ton tony's in a month. Their bodies are simply not genetically designed to efficently metabolize a O type diet. If a type O blood type eats an A type diet they will gain wieght because they won't be able to efficently handle the high vegetable fats and Complex carbs for fuel. Like the American Indian (type O's) they eat buffalo and used it all for various uses, their diet was great lacking in vegetables, their bodies broke down the fat in to carbs to burn. I ran Cross Country at Shawnee Mission South in the 70's and at Clear Lake High School my senior year. just outside the in the lockeroom in the halls was a beverage machine that dropped a cup down and you got about a cup and half of soda. Afer a daily work out of 15 miles, a little cup of Mr. Pibb or Dr. Pepper really hit the spot.

black_watch 12 years, 4 months ago

Take a look at the bottles that kid is stocking. Yes, they're non-carbonated. They're Minute Maid brand pink lemonade. From, check this out. Mind you there are 20 oz in a bottle, which is what the kid is putting in that machine.

Minutemaid Pink Lemonade Per 12 oz serving: Calories: 150 Total Carbohydrates: 42g(10%) Sugars: 40g.

From the can on my desk (hah):

Coca-Cola per 12 oz serving: Calories: 140 Total Carbohydrates: 39g (13%) Sugars: 39g

The biggest differences: no bubbles, and no caffeine. But... The "juice" (2% juice content) has -more sugar-.

There are very few products on the market that are low sugar, no carbonation, no caffeine, and no artificial sweeteners. That's the main problem: market gap. Nobody has seen fit to fill the market niche with those things, because every corner of the market is filled up with our favorite sugar syrup crap. There's hardly even any room left to catch a breath to shout for a change - coke, pepsi, and faux-juice products are being crammed down our throats so fast we're immobilized.

If we want change in the lunch room, we need to be looking for "real" products. Fruit and vegetable juices. Water. It has caffeine, but how about iced tea, too? Yum. Perhaps some products sweetened only with cane juice, rather than our friend high-fructose corn syrup?

Real food for real people, I say. Let the worms have the processed poisons. For that matter, I'd like to see this considered in workplaces, too. I demand at least the choice to not have this crap convenient all the time everywhere I go, to the exclusion of everything good and whole. And for kids in school? They can pick their poisons when they're adults and free in the world.

wonderhorse 12 years, 4 months ago

"I demand at least the choice to not have this crap convenient all the time everywhere I go, to the exclusion of everything good and whole."

Whoa, there. You are saying that you would want to 'ban' vending machines because you can't control your impulses? So, adults that can control themselves won't have the option of buying pop/candy if they want to? If you want healthy choices, try to get the mix of foods changed. I don't think that denying others their ability to choose to eat "processed poisons" just because you have no self-control is right.

Harry_Manback 12 years, 4 months ago

I drink four pops on average a day, sometimes more, and I still weigh the same as I did when I was 16.

But on a different note, when I was in middle school, my lunch consisted of ho-hos or ding-dongs, a bag of chips and a fruitopia. They didn't allow pop in the school, but it's not like it really mattered. I would've eaten the school food if it had been decent, but it wasn't. In high school I left for lunch since all the school had to offer was crap. There's no reason that school food should be unhealthy and gross tasting, but they must be too lazy to make it taste better.

nefball1031 12 years, 4 months ago

"High school students are NOT adults! And no, they aren't 'adult enough' to make their own dietary decisions. Isn't that obvious?

I mean, look around.....fat kids everywhere! Problem is mom and dad are too busy with their own lives to even care what their kids are eating, drinking, smoking, or snorting! "

look around, fat ADULTS also. EVERYWHERE. so what makes you think we can't make our own decisions.

In high school we are taught to make our own decisions, and use our own judgment, that way when we go into the real world, which is at most 3 years away, we know what to do. and when we have parents complaining about what we're eating, that limits our decision making abilities, becuase you guys are making decisions for us. and leads to nothing but a future of kids can't choose for themselves. do some research on "the trophy generation"

black_watch 12 years, 4 months ago

To Wonderhorse:

No, I don't want to ban vending machines. But, for the record, I would rather have nothing convenient than toxic waste "food" products be all that's available. The key phrase was "to the exclusion of everything good and whole".

To Harry: If you'd had a better selection of food, rather than choosing disgusting school cafeteria food or ding-dongs, would you have chosen the healthy food? At my high school, for a time they put in a sandwich bar, for example, twice a week. Those were the days that instead of eating pizza, we got ourselves fresh sandwiches with the toppings of our choice - usually lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and ketchup or mayo. Roast beef, turkey, and ham was also available, but my friends and I were vegetarians in high school.

Of course, not everybody is going to follow the perfect diet, and that -is- their right. But instead of making the awful diet the easy diet, why not try the other way around?

At any rate, a healthy school food and beverage program is a full solution to the issue. Sure, keep some ding-dongs in reserve, everyone has a right to some. As I mentioned earlier, I was looking at a can of coke on my desk. We like our sweets, who wants to abolish them? But they need less control. The companies that make them need less control over our lives and our health, cutting corners with unhealthy products and chemical ingredients to save pennies and get us hooked even deeper.

Even as adults, we're swamped and surrounded by doritos, fritos, coke and pepsi, hot pockets and frozen processed pizza food product, mcdonald's, taco bell, little debbie, the list goes on. I can drive through someplace and get a salad with as many calories and processed ingredients as a big mac or a whopper - how wrong is that? Lettuce abuse! You don't even want to know, nor will you be able to find out, what country those tiny tomato bits came from, what's in those cheese-food-product shreds, or how many cows and what grade of beef is in your taco salad. We're captives to our own food industries, so badly that it's really an untruth to say it's "our" food industry any more. It's not "ours". It's "theirs". They call the shots and they rake in the dough, because we work hard and we want to eat quickly, easily, and cheaply. And we're paying for the privilege, far more than it's worth.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.