Thursday, February 5, 2009
Routt County schools will be bottling up their sugary drinks next school year, following a Colorado Department of Education ruling that bans the sale of soda in schools.
Beginning in July, schools will be unable to sell soda to students, including diet drinks.
For Steamboat Springs High School, that means no more Jarritos Mexican soda in the lunch line and no more diet drinks in the vending machines.
Max Huppert, director of nutritional services for the Steamboat Springs School District, said that although he is "addicted to Coca-Cola," he thinks limiting soda's availability at school is a good idea.
"When the kids start, they probably can't concentrate," he said.
The school district will continue to offer sports drinks and iced tea through the lunch line at the high school, and milk and juice at the elementary and middle schools.
The vending machines at the school turn on after lunch.
In Hayden and Soroco high schools, several vending machines offer Pepsi products.
The rules passed by the Department of Education in December take effect July 1. They permit low-fat milk, low-fat flavored milk, milk substitutes and juice in elementary and middle schools. Those same drinks are allowed in high schools, along with low-calorie sports drinks and other low-calorie beverages.
Huppert said students will continue to bring soda into the school if it is not sold on school grounds.
The regulation was passed to comply with a state Senate bill that cites the rising epidemic of childhood obesity.
In a release announcing the Department of Education policy, Shepard Nevel, vice-president of policy for the Colorado Health Foundation, said the foundation strongly supported the rules. Obesity rates have doubled in Colorado since 1995, he said, "and a growing body of research shows that healthier students perform better academically."