Blog: Fat chance
Chris Brook-Carter | 13 July 2005
Is today’s news that Alabama has joined a number of other US states in banning or limiting soft drink sales in vending machines at public schools draconian, enlightened or, as one politician has labelled it, a cop-out?
A health plan, aimed at reducing child obesity in the state, rules that vending machines in elementary schools cannot contain carbonated soft drinks, such as Coke and Pepsi.
Vending machines in middle schools must limit carbonated drinks to no more than 30% of the selections, and half of those must be diet versions. In high schools' vending machines, up to 50% of the drink selections can be carbonated drinks, but half of those must be diet versions.
It is hard to argue with the ban in elementary schools. These are our most vulnerable consumers and everything should be done to protect them.
Despite protestations from some corners that the total ban on CSDs should be expanded to include all schools - State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, who wanted a total ban, said the board gave in to the soft drink industry – the limitations also appear, to me, to be prudent.
Teenagers in particular are going to consume CSDs if they want to, in the quantities they want to, whether there is a ban or not. At least, imposing the limitation on the vending machines allows young adults to make choices. It is now down to the schools and parents to educate their children to make the right choices as part of a balanced diet.
What worries me about this plan is that, once more, the soft drinks and food industries are being used as scapegoats for the lack of food education and exercise children receive in the US and across Europe.
This latest policy does nothing to increase the physical education requirements for Alabama's public schools, for example.
Food and drink are, without doubt, part of the obesity problem. But they are not the be all and end all to solving this crisis. Unless some balance is achieved in the argument, we are never going to find a workable, long-term solution to the worrying levels of obesity amongst the West’s youth.
For those people looking to the Red Planet as shining utopia away from all things earth, look away now....
Bacardi's 42 Below vodka brand has found a novel way to use the lemons left over from cocktail-making: Turn them into liquid soap....
Philadelphia’s soda tax came into force on Sunday, and is reportedly causing a stir in the city's check-out aisles....
Earlier this month, I was most-kindly invited by Accolade Wines to visit the Royal Albert Hall in London. The reason? They wanted to see a tennis great in action, and then give them a guided tour thro...
- Most Valuable Spirits Brands in 2017 - The facts
- Most Valuable Beer Brands in 2017 - The facts
- Diageo Africa president O'Keeffe on beer & spirits
- Travel Retail needs a disruptor - Comment
- What the future looks like for Australian wine
- Diageo ready to lock horns with AB InBev in Africa
- Heineken sees Tesco pull SKUs in UK
- Coca-Cola Co announces senior executive shake-up
- Fever-Tree eyes bumper NPD, pack formats for 2017
- Heineken mulls M&A with $1.75bn notes issue
- Central and East Europe Report Package
- Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers
- Global vodka insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Scotch insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global liqueurs insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research