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Soda Companies Have Contracts with Most American Schools

Soda Companies Have Contracts with Most American Schools

How are soda companies targeting teenagers these days? By negotiating contracts with school systems for sole ďpouring rights.Ē In fact, four out of every five public high schools have agreements with either Coca-Cola or Pepsi to exclusively serve their beverages on their premises, reports Mother Jones.

These contracts stipulate that the soda companiesí products will be sold in vending machines, cafeterias, snack bars and at afterschool functions. Advertisements that promote the sugary beverages are also furnished to the schools to keep the thought of soda on the kidsí minds throughout the day.

While many school officials know the health risks associated with offering soda to their students, the allure of extra money can be too much for cash-scrapped schools to ignore. The contracts are quite lucrative and provide supplemental income to schools at a time when government budget cuts are rampant. For example, Coca-Cola signed a deal with the Rockford, Illinois school district. The decade-long agreement established that the company would give the schools over seven million dollars to sell Coke products in school buildings.

With this sizeable additional revenue, schools like those in Rockford are able to pay for teachersí assistants, field trips and new technology for the classroom. Consequentially, school superintendents are left in the uneasy predicament of determining whether the benefit of having otherwise unaffordable school resources outweighs the health costs of giving a soda corporation a prominent position in their buildings. Given that 80% of public schools have opted in to these contracts, it is clear which decision the majority of school districts are making.

Although school districts are more likely to leave their younger students out of these cola promotions, they certainly are not left out altogether. Almost half of American public elementary schools have soda pouring contracts, meaning the companies are catching these kids early.

Some official do not even see the problem with giving kids easy access to soda. One often used excuse is that students who do not have access to junk food at school just wind up eating more of it at home, but a study conducted by the University of Illinois found that was not the case. A second study by the same researchers found that kids in schools where junk food is restricted were more likely to be of a healthy weight. With about one third of American kids currently considered overweight or obese, this discrepancy seems important.

Soda pouring contracts may eventually be in jeopardy. Two years ago, President Barack Obama signed legislation that mandated that the United States Department of Agriculture develop countrywide regulations on sodas and snacks sold in schools. However, the USDA has yet to produce any such recommendations.

Related Stories:

88% of High School Students Have Access to Sugary Drinks

Banning Soda in Schools Has Little Impact

9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda

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Photo Credit: Ethan Bloch

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11:00AM PST on Feb 3, 2013

Try getting almond and soya milk contracts instead!!!! A much better alternative.

8:09AM PST on Dec 8, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

6:51PM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

scary

6:51PM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

scary

12:01AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

refresh your thirst with Coke.

7:38AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Thanks for this info!

6:46AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Water is better for kids than soda...but what about all those plastic bottles? What's wrong with plain old water fountains around campus and in the classroom sink? Undiluted juice is hard to digest. The "fortified" cow's milk, often flavored, served in the cafeteria is no better. The real issue is an overall one about nutrition and healthy eating/drinking habits.

Parents and other folks who actually care about the education of children should demand that education be a top government funding priority. There's enough money, the problem is the choices made by our representatives about the areas where the money is spent. That's the answer to school funding shortfalls, not selling our children out to corporate interests in exchange for cash.

12:39AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Well, it's not like we can't ask for the better options.

Coke makes Dasani water, Eva water, flavored seltzer waters, teas (of varying sweetness) and even owns Minute Made

Pepsi has aquafina, Ocean Spray juices, Sobe teas, and Lipton.

Many of these are either perfect, because it's water, or at least better than soda. I'm sure, to be able to keep the vending machines, that they would be willing to switch, so the kids won't complain there isn't anything for them to drink, nor will the parents/schools complain about the obesity enhancing beverages.

7:32AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

il mondo gira solo attorno ai soldi, chi se ne frega se ai bambini fa male

6:40AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

are we truly surprised?

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