Archive for Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pepsi wants to sell low-calorie drinks in schools

January 2, 2014

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— A request by Pepsi-Cola aimed at allowing the sale of low-calorie sodas in vending machines in schools would probably fall flat in Lawrence.

Drinks from vending machines are sold only at Free State High School. And those don't sell sodas of any kind, according to Paula Murrish, director of food services and purchasing for the Lawrence school district.

Pepsi of Topeka has asked the Kansas State Board of Education to drop a recommendation that districts stop selling low-calorie sodas in schools, arguing that it would further cut into the company's revenue and reduce the amount it pays districts.

A recommendation by the State Board of Education to prohibit vending machine sales of low-calorie sodas during school is part of the board's model wellness guidelines, which it hopes to have updated by May, before the federal guidelines go into effect.

New federal regulations scheduled to take effect in July are expected to cut into Pepsi sales by forcing the company to sell smaller bottles of some beverages, such as juices and sports drinks, Patrick O'Donnell, general manager of Pepsi of Topeka, told the board.

Local school boards can decide whether to comply with the state's wellness guidelines. Lawrence has adopted its own policy, Murrish said.

Comments

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 6 months ago

Amen. The "low calorie" sodas contain chemicals that are terrible for anyone to be ingesting. Stick with fruit juices and water. Otherwise, pull the machines out of the schools. The revenue from the machines is not worth the detrimental effect on the students from the sodas.

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