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Debate Over Diet Soda in Schools Highlights the Issue of Needing Funding, Wanting Healthier Options

Debate over Diet Soda in State’s Schools Highlights the Issue of Needing Funding, Wanting Healthier Options

Diet soda has been banned in Colorado schools for seven years, but that might change as the state board considers today whether to remove the ban and allow diet soda to be sold in schools by the 2017-2018 school year.

Health advocates are not happy about the potential change, arguing that diet soda’s negative health effects outweigh the benefit of receiving funding from vendors.

Still, schools will have the option to ultimately make the call on whether or not to allow the fizzy, sugar-free beverages even if the board approves the reversal. 

Additionally, “[p]ortions of Colorado’s Beverage Policy would remain intact, including restricting regular soda and other beverages during extracurricular activities. Sodas are not allowed in middle or elementary schools,” said The Denver Post.

Colorado’s beverage rules are some of the strictest in the nation. Federal guidelines allow schools to offer beverages that have less than 60 calories per 12 ounces.

Advocates, according to the Post, argue that reversing Colorado’s strict rules will ruin its reputation of being the healthiest state in the nation.

One individual sums the debate, which schools across the nation have, up nicely:

“I wish that our school had the willpower to resist the temptation, but with funding for schools a constant problem, the ability to bring in revenue from vending operations is too great,” said Carrie Godes, special projects coordinator for Garfield County Public Health in a letter to the State Board of Education obtained by the Post.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

8/10/2016

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