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Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Schools set to ban fizzy drinks
fizzy drinks
Fizzy drinks will not be sold in schools
The sale of fizzy drinks could be banned in schools in Los Angeles in the United States, in an attempt to tackle childhood obesity.

The Los Angeles school district has already outlawed the sale of soft drinks in its primary schools and, on Tuesday, the school board will decide whether this rule should apply to middle and high schools.


This is the right thing to do for children

Julie Korenstein, school board member
If the vote goes through, the sale of fizzy drinks in schools could be banned by January 2004.

"This is the right thing to do for children," said board member Julie Korenstein.

"There is an obesity epidemic in the United States today nationally, and there is a tremendous rise in childhood diabetes."

Couch potatoes

It is estimated that up to 15% of American children between the ages of 6 and 19 are classified as obese or overweight.

The school board vote has prompted criticism from the drinks industry which says it is not to blame for the levels of obesity among young people.

A spokesman for the National Soft Drink Association said the problem was a sedentary lifestyle for young people.

There is also concern that a ban on fizzy drinks sales would take away a source of funding for student activities.

Profits from sales of carbonated drinks currently raise an average of $39,000 (25,600) per high school and $14,000 (9,200) per middle school each year.

Water preferred

The sale of carbonated drinks has been banned by individual schools in the UK.

getting water
Some schools want pupils to get into the water habit
This followed concerns over additives in fizzy drinks, others were keen to get pupils to drink more water, claiming it aids concentration and boosts academic performance.

Earlier this year, the Charles Burrell School in Thetford, Norfolk got rid of its fizzy drinks machines to make way for water fountains.

The 700-pupil school made the decision after studying research which showed water helped children's brains to function better.

See also:

28 Sep 00 | Education
28 Feb 02 | Education
25 Sep 01 | England
27 Apr 00 | Education
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