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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Soda Vending Machines in Schools

If you have children in school or have recently walked the halls of a local school, you know that there is more than likely a soda vending machine in a school cafeteria or lounge near you. The fact that children of all ages have access to soda at school raises concerns for many parents. However, it’s a good idea to consider the issue from all angles before petitioning to do away with all school soda vending machines

When considering the availability of soda in our schools, parents immediately think of the fact that their children will have it readily available to them without the regulations that they may be able to place on soda consumption while at home. The mere availability of it and the normalcy through which it is being consumed at schools means that many children are currently drinking at least one or more per day.

In addition, students may feel more pressure to drink soda to be cool as it is often seen as more socially acceptable to drink soda than to drink more healthful options such as milk, water or juice.

However, there are pro’s to having vending machines with soda in them readily available to your children. This allows the opportunity for your child to make healthy choices for themselves.  Speak with your children about the effects of drinking too much soda and let them make their own choices rather than policing their consumption. Having them decide for themselves that a constant soda diet is unhealthy is better than constantly harping on them about it. Children who are denied a certain item might become more addicted to that item once it’s more readily available. A child who drinks soda in moderation and has the option to buy it may be more likely to make healthy and responsible choices.

It was also reported in 2008 that the banning of soda vending machines in schools only provided a 4 percent decrease in soft drink consumption of children. Even if they could no longer buy their soft drinks at school, they still managed to either bring it from home or drank more later in the day.

An article on marksdailyapple.com reports that currently that 43% of elementary schools, 90% of middle schools, and 98% of high schools have vending machines. With this type of vending machine availability in schools its more and more important for parents to convey their feelings on the subject so that children can make the best most healthful decisions possible.

Creative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

Sarah Wozniak

Staff Writer, Page1 Online Marketing

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