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At Least It Gives Me a Reason To Drink


So a bunch of the big soda companies have said they won’t be selling their least nutritious potions in U.S. schools. Sounds good, right? But oh boy, how does this news annoy me? Let me count the ways.
First, are we supposed to say, “whoopee,” now that we’re not hawking Coke to children in school? I know, let’s set up a martini bar in every high school, and then when we take them out we can get all excited and applaud our fine treatment of the youth of America. Not selling children junk drinks in schools seems like one of the least things you can expect from a public education.
And second, that this announcement comes from the drinks companies shows clearly where the power lies. “OK school systems, we’ll pull out the junk we’ve been offering the kids because we’re not making that much money off of it and it’s turning into a possibly expensive public relations problem, so you can thank us by continuing to drop those dollars into our machines to buy (ha ha ha) water. Also, please make sure not to fix the hall water fountains.” Why haven’t the school systems just said “no” on their own? (Although some have, and it’s about time.)
I know, I know, school systems say they needed the money. Well, raising money this way does nothing but get kids trained to be good junk consumers at a young age. (Apart from the fact that schools shouldn’t have to scramble for money they need for, uh, education and stuff.)
Whatever you think about the “obesity epidemic” of kids getting fat and unhealthy, or about how strict parents should be with childrens’ diets (and my home has certainly never been a health-food-only zone), surely we all agree that soda is junk. The simplest solution is just not to have it in schools, and leave it up to parents to decide on any “naughty” additions to their kids’ diets. After all, if schools are pushing soda on kids, parents have to work doubly hard. If anyone gets credit for offering a food or drink treat to my kid, it better be me, and I want to be able to use it if I need to, say, head off a short-person revolt in the middle of grocery shopping.
Oy, after thinking about all this, I need a drink. I wonder how long it would take to get one of those frozen margarita machines installed? With a childproof lock of course. Sometimes it’s good to be the grownup.

Share  Posted by Deborah Klosky at 2:38 PM | Permalink

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