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CA bans soda in school as of '05

California Diet & Health Soda in Schools

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#21 Uncle Sid

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 11:45 AM

Once again showing that I'm a little bit more towards the authoritarian side than most....  :p

Soda is really bad for you.  No doubt about it.  (As I sit here downing my Pepsi.)  I doubt anyone disagrees with that.

I also am totally for personal responsibility.  Suing a McDonalds for getting you fat is the epitome of ridiculousness.  

Nevertheless, schools are not food service businesses and they should have a right to not sell something that is harmful.  If the state has authority over education in California (which it should, because that's generally a state-level power), it has a right to order schools not to sell soda.  

Yes, it won't stop kids from getting fat on soda, because they will bring them to school, but it at least means that the school isn't encouraging that behavior by taking the effort to make it available.  

And consider this.  If Chiron sent her kids to school and preferred that they drink healthy stuff, she would not buy soda for them.  But if it's at the school, all they need is 50 cents to a dollar and the little rugrats can ignore her wishes.  Granted, they are just screwing with their own health, but while they are minors, they are the concern of their parents.  If parents want kids to drink a beverage with zero nutritional value, let them send it to school with the kids.  

Anyhow, like most, I believe that whether you ban something or not, what your health comes down to are your own choices.  If you go to McDonalds and binge, you're going to get fat and unhealthy and McDonalds has never advertised itself as a health food joint.  If you guzzle soda, you're going to have associated problems as well.  Still, just because it's your decision to mess yourself up doesn't mean that a school, which is in the education business, not the beverage business, has to provide you the means to that end.
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#22 Rov Judicata

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 11:52 AM

I disagree Sid.

If parents want their kids not to drink soda, it's *their* responsibility, not that of the school.

Some parents don't want their children to dance. Should the school's stop having dances?
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#23 QuiGon John

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 12:11 PM

I just thought I'd point out, in the context of this rather ridiculous bill:

Quote

According to the legislation, an average of 30 percent of California children are overweight.

I realize it's not as simple as this, but: Assuming people run the spectrum about evenly from health nuts to Snickerholics, we would expect to see a pattern something like this:

25% underweight
50% normal weight
25% overweight

Would we not?  So... is thirty percent really so bad that we need to go about putting Coca-Cola on the ol' Restricted Substances List? ;)

Quote

and McDonalds has never advertised itself as a health food joint. If

Well, except for that commercial they were running a few months ago about how their hamburgers were made from 100 percent pure ground beef, because they just love their customers That Much... um, I was somewhat less than reassured by those.  :unsure:

In conclusion: This post has been completely random, but I think my point was-- Life's too short.  Let people decide what to eat for themselves.  And let parents decide what their children are eating.  Thanks.

#24 Uncle Sid

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 12:13 PM

I don't know if I'd go with the dance example, Rov.  For one thing, dances are significantly easier to prevent your child from attending than it is to keep them from dumping quarters in a conveniently located soda machine.  Also, a dance is socialization exercise which is arguably one of the benefits of education in a school.  

A soda machine, on the other hand, has few benefits to begin with and none of which cannot be provided more healthfully by an alternative beverage and has no stake in the mission of the school at all.  

Having a machine at school perhaps aids personal responsibility skills for schoolchildren, but at that point in their lives, responsibility lies mostly with the parents and such a device can be argued to remove the ability of parents to exercise discretion.  

Personally, I imagine that the California legislature probably has more important things to do than pass this measure, but it's not outside their powers and I don't think it harms the cause of personal responsiblity in any significant sense.
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#25 Rov Judicata

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 12:28 PM

John-- Excellent point about percentages.

Sid-- I disagree that a soda machine has no benefits; there's nothing wrong with indulging in a coke, and it provides a convenient outlet. IT's only a problem if people overuse it.

The dances: I could just as easily argue that the embarassment of students who can't get dates is harmful to them. No doubt, 20% of Californian students are depressed, and there's no need to add to the problem with those kind of stresses. You can use the Senate's logic to ban anything.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#26 Delvo

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:05 PM

I really don't get the argument that this is government interference. Hosting those machines in the first place was JUST AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE an interference. How many other products get that kind of promotion and placement? Companies that make stuff for grocery stores and other stores with shelves in them like Wal-Mart fight each other for prime location on the shelves! What makes the garbage-drink industry so special that it needs or deserves such special treatment?

The argument about choice and responsibility also doesn't hold up at all. This isn't interfering with anyone's right to drink this stuff; it's just choosing not to be the dealer that hands it out. Since when did it become the school's (and thus the government's) obligation to conveniently place every item that people have the right to buy? Where is it written that for every choice people are entitled to make, school/government must provide the MEANS by which people would excercise those choices?

So the stuff might be marginally harder to get for those who want it; big deal. The biggest government interference of all is for them to circumvent normal market forces (in this case, the interplay of availability with consumption and prices and such) and throw everything out of balance by artificially inflating product availability (so that the purchase of said product is no longer a gage of how important getting it really is to the consumers).

Just imagine how you'd feel if other products that people have the right to choose to get were also allowed to solicit kids at school... you'd be complaining about the corrupt politicians obviously taking bribes from big businesses who want to push something on us which they aren't making big enough profits from "out there", and come up with slogans like "A school is not a mall".

This isn't government stepping in to prevent something. It's government stepping out and back to quit pointlessly supporting and favoring it. Are you sure this was even in California?

#27 Delvo

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:09 PM

John Burke, on Jun 12 2003, 07:15 PM, said:

Assuming people run the spectrum about evenly from health nuts to Snickerholics, we would expect to see a pattern something like this:

25% underweight
50% normal weight
25% overweight

Would we not?
No, we would not. Not even anywhere near that.

#28 QuiGon John

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:11 PM

Delvo, on Jun 13 2003, 02:13 AM, said:

John Burke, on Jun 12 2003, 07:15 PM, said:

Assuming people run the spectrum about evenly from health nuts to Snickerholics, we would expect to see a pattern something like this:

25% underweight
50% normal weight
25% overweight

Would we not?
No, we would not. Not even anywhere near that.
^ Care to explain why?  I'm not saying you're wrong; I just don't understand why I'm wrong...

#29 Rov Judicata

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:17 PM

[quote]The argument about choice and responsibility also doesn't hold up at all. This isn't interfering with anyone's right to drink this stuff; it's just choosing not to be the dealer that hands it out. Since when did it become the school's (and thus the government's) obligation to conveniently place every item that people have the right to buy? Where is it written that for every choice people are entitled to make, school/government must provide the MEANS by which people would excercise those choices?[/quote]

It didn't. They just allowed coke companies to setup there because that's who could be there and make a profit. If anybody wants to try installing a juice bar in a mini-free market, they're welcome to.

[quote]So the stuff might be marginally harder to get for those who want it; big deal.[/quote]

If it's only marginally harder, than it contradicts the stated goal of  fighting obesity.

[quote]The biggest government interference of all is for them to circumvent normal market forces (in this case, the interplay of availability with consumption and prices and such) and throw everything out of balance by artificially inflating product availability (so that the purchase of said product is no longer a gage of how important getting it really is to the consumers).[/quote]

Excellent point. The school should provide what sells.

[quote]Just imagine how you'd feel if other products that people have the right to choose to get were also allowed to solicit kids at school... you'd be complaining about the corrupt politicians obviously taking bribes from big businesses who want to push something on us which they aren't making big enough profits from "out there", and come up with slogans like "A school is not a mall".[/quote

Hey, that'd rock. School food sucks; I would have loved some free competition, back in the day.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#30 Uncle Sid

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:33 PM

Indulgence is a luxury, and if the luxury is unhealthy and can be provided for in a better fashion, there's no point in keeping it.

As far as dances go, there are risks involved in everything, but risks are justifiable if you take them to further the goals of the institution.  Socialization is an important part of the educational system, chugging down a carbonated beverage is not.  Granted, I was never a big fan of school dances myself, so if California banned them, I wouldn't really cry all that much.  I probably got more enjoyment out of knocking back a Coke at my high school than I got going to any school dance (mostly because I started out fairly socially inept), but that doesn't change the fact that a dance is fulfilling a school's mission and a Soda machine is not.  

Further, if you look at it objectively, dances don't cause depression.  That's internal body chemistry and other long-term psycological issues.  If you are prone to depression, then if you don't have a dance, then you may not feel your depression about not finding a date for one, but chances are that it's just putting off depression until you hit some other roadblock.  Soda, on the other hand, works on your body, adding the sugars and chemicals that directly add to obesity.  Not drinking soda will remove a contributing factor to obesity, but not having a dance will not stop depression.  In fact, if you do find a date for one, you might actually end up with a higher self image than a lower one.  For instance, I personally never though I'd get a date to my junior prom because I was inept that way in high school, but I did end up going and so now I can look back on it positively.  

Yes, I gather your points, but I think that they are not the same thing.  It just doesn't set off my alarms like other things do.  I can think of better things for them to enact, but I can think of better things to oppose as well.
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#31 Bad Wolf

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 06:08 PM

As Rov pointed out, this is not a matter of school policy but of the state government playing big brother.

It's not their business.

And, if they were REALLY that concerned about it (just like with the smoke police) they'd go for the source.

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#32 Drew

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 04:39 AM

I'm still surprised to find soda machines IN schools. In my day such things were verboten.

Quote

Hosting those machines in the first place was JUST AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE an interference. How many other products get that kind of promotion and placement? Companies that make stuff for grocery stores and other stores with shelves in them like Wal-Mart fight each other for prime location on the shelves! What makes the garbage-drink industry so special that it needs or deserves such special treatment?

Well, that's where my objection would come from; not from the arguments about health.

Edited by Drew, 14 June 2003 - 04:42 AM.

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#33 Delvo

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 06:05 AM

Drew, on Jun 13 2003, 11:43 AM, said:

that's where my objection would come from; not from the arguments about health.
Ya, I never claimed to be with the government on the obesity thing, although I might be depending on how they worded it. If they said "fighting" obesity, then no, that's silly. But if they said "Not going to foster obesity anymore", I'm with them. If the general rule that school aren't places where stuff is bought and sold is going to have an exception by the school's choosing one particular product to have a presence there, then what looks like a deliberate attempt to fatten kids up is a pretty weird exception to make, and I'm still stumped and flabberghasted at the people who seem to think it's so important to do so. What makes this product so special that it needs to be there where no others would be allowed?

BTW, to respond to more than one post above that says this isn't the school, it's the government: they're the same thing. The school is a state government institution, run by the government, with rules and procedures set in place by the government and government funding paying for everything it does. It's like the store and warehouse where I work, which is one branch store of a local chain run from a central original store in another town. If that central office makes a change in policy, guess what: my particular branch's policy is thereby changed, because it's the same entity.

#34 Delvo

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 06:30 AM

John Burke, on Jun 12 2003, 08:15 PM, said:

Delvo, on Jun 13 2003, 02:13 AM, said:

John Burke, on Jun 12 2003, 07:15 PM, said:

Assuming people run the spectrum about evenly from health nuts to Snickerholics, we would expect to see a pattern something like this:

25% underweight
50% normal weight
25% overweight

Would we not?
No, we would not. Not even anywhere near that.
^ Care to explain why?  I'm not saying you're wrong; I just don't understand why I'm wrong...
Because that kind of thinking only applies when you have some REASON to think things will be distributed that way. Without one, the numbers are just made up, and can be made up any way you want. There's no such thing as a general, neutral distribution that can be assumed for all situations. An assessment of odds has to be done based on the specific case in question or it's nothing at all.

For example, I could just as easily say that we could assume the natural distribution is any other set of three numbers totalling 100. What basis would I have for it? What reason would you have to believe it?

Basicly, the way to get 25-50-25 is to do two binary splits and assume that the odds in each case are 50-50. The first is "OK weight" and "not OK weight". But how can we assume it's really half and half? There are NO reasons at all to think it would be. I could easily think of a handful of solid reasons to think one outcome or the other is actually more likely, based on basic biology and such. Maybe those guesses would be wrong, as only a real observation of data could show, but the point is that matters of physiology and population dynamics and biochemistry are not a coin toss; half-&-half is NEVER a reasonable assumption because there are so many factors and so many subtle variations on the possible outcomes and such. Then there's the second binary split, where "not OK" is split into "over" and "under", and again, it's treated as a coin toss to make each outcome equally likely. But the two things are caused by completely different factors, and the prevalence of one set of factors would easily lead one of them to be more likely to happen. Just compare the numbers of skinny and fat people in your own observation of this country, and then compare that with Etheopia during its famine. Obviously there isn't anything inherent in the nature of skinniness and fatness that makes them generally want to end up at equal proportions in the population; it's just a response to circumstances. And maybe you can dismiss the Etheopian famine as an oddity, a weird lopsidedness differing from the trend, but then where's the basis for considering the USA neutral and normal? And where's the basis for assuming that fat and skinny, or OK-weight and not-OK-weight, are equally likely in a "neutral" environment, whatever that might be?

Maybe the numbers you gave fit the statistical "normal" distribution; I haven't messed with statistics for a long time and it was the only numbers thing I never liked. But nature is full of non-Normal statistics, and some of the other general patterns are common enough to have their own other names, like the "spike" and the reverse-J graph and the S-curve graph. And you don't get to just pick a graph type and state that any biological phenomenon has to fit it without some kind of observational or hypothetical reason why it would.

#35 Jid

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 07:04 AM

Drew, on Jun 13 2003, 11:43 AM, said:

I'm still surprised to find soda machines IN schools. In my day such things were verboten.
But back in your day, I bet Coca Cola and Pepsi weren't offering your school a nice big fat cheque, either ;)

The health effects of over consouming soda aside, I'm still against this, at least, for non elementary school students.  The government won't curb childhood obesity by trying to dry up the pop supply, nor is it the government's duty to try and go directly after the children when it's the parents who are more responsible.

(When I was in elementary school, while there were no pop machines, we did have the milk cart, which went around every noon hour selling individual milk packs for 50 cents each.  Healthy choices sometimes do get pushed in schools, I guess ;) )

Edited by Jid, 14 June 2003 - 07:05 AM.

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#36 Angelan

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 07:36 AM

^

Actually, the milk thing makes me think.  Does it count if the school isn't trying to counter unhealthyness by banning unhealthy things, but by giving healthy things for free?

In infant school (and at my nursary, too) we were forced to drink milk every day.  I know we were forced because I hated the stuff, and had to drink it anyway.  It was all free, as far as I can remember, but it's not my most pleasant memory of the school.

Anyway, maybe it doesn't count because we were little, but I think it was a government thing.
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#37 Kosh

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 07:55 AM

Kanawha County Schools turned off the soda machines during school hours when I was in school.  This started in the 70's when I was going to Dupont High School. They were turned back on after hours for Basketball games and such.

Parents can't control what there kids do at school. Even the best behaved kids will get into things when they shouldn't.  Considering that the state runs the school system, I can't se a problem with them banning something that is full of sugar, and will only make students restless and figity in class.

I drank so much Pop in those days it's a wonder I ever got away from it. I used to drink Big Gulps evey day, at least one. Somewhere along the line I stopped drinking pop altogether. One of my sisters has gotten very health conscience in the last two years. She quit drinking all carbonated drinks over the calcium issue.
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#38 Bad Wolf

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 10:07 AM

I was discussing this with a friend last night (one who thinks that the state has every right to regulate the doings in public schools), and I asked this question:

What if the kids brings a soda to school?   What if his parents packed the kid's lunch and included a soda?

Would the State have the right to regulate that?

After all, if the argument is that while the kid is in school the school (and by extension the State) is in charge, then they can confiscate the soda right?  Nevermind what the parent thinks about it right?

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#39 Delvo

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 11:55 AM

That's the problem with the described motivation here. Choosing not to put vending machines on the school property is not the same thing as declaring something contraband and forbidden. Not allowing kids to bring with them whatever food and beverages their parents see fit WOULD be the kind of government interference that removing vending machines is NOT.

#40 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 12:02 PM

Delvo, on Jun 14 2003, 08:56 PM, said:

Not allowing kids to bring with them whatever food and beverages their parents see fit WOULD be the kind of government interference that removing vending machines is NOT.
I agree.  That makes perfect sense.

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