Banning Sodas From East Texas Schools - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/4/06-Tyler

Banning Sodas From East Texas Schools

Pretty soon, regular sodas will be a thing of the past in East Texas schools. They, along with soda companies, are making big changes.

The East Texas schools with spoke with say they're willing to follow the recommendations made public yesterday by the American Beverage Association. The guidelines: No sodas at elementary or middle schools, and only diet drinks in the high schools. This comes after Former President Bill Clinton made a deal with the nation's major beverage vendors.

Vending machines are full of regular soft drinks, but the cans may soon be gone from East Texas schools.... In an effort to cut down on childhood obesity.

At Tyler ISD, you won't find soft drinks at elementary schools, and the middle schools only make them available after school. Now, they're looking to take the next step, limiting regular soft drinks in high schools.

"I have a feeling with TISD that we are going to move forward to something of that affect but I can't say what that will be at this point," says Victor Olivares, Coordinator of Food Services of Tyler ISD most parents say it's a step in the right direction.

"I think it's a great thing because I think it makes them hyperactive and it ruins their teeth," says Tabitha Moore, parent.

"I have watched kids and adults for that matter constantly chain drinking sodas. I think it does lead to obesity but I don't think taking it out of schools is going to make a huge difference," says Diane Whitehurst.

"I think it's a great idea, we know that sodas do not have any nutritional value it's basically just caffeine and sugar. There isn't any real fruit juice in them so there is no need to have them in schools. We should be promoting healthy drinks and healthy foods at school. We don't know how children are able to eat at home so at the very least at school we should provide things that are nutritious," says Jaishree Ellis, parent.

Some soft drinks have up to 170 calories in just 12 ounces....that means if your child were to drink one soda a day, they would be cutting 35- hundred calories from their diet in a month.

We did speak with Jacksonville and Longview ISD and they say they also will be following the recommendation. The soft drink makers say the new policy would be fully in place within the next three years.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com

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