University of Illinois at Chicago researchers led by Daniel R. Taber surveyed 6,900 students in fifth and eighth grade from public schools in 40 states about their in-school access to sugar-sweetened beverages as well as their overall intake of these drinks. They then compared purchase and consumption patterns in schools with no beverage policies and schools with restrictions on in-school purchases of soda or all sugar-sweetened beverages.
State policies were not correlated with adolescents' consumption of sweetened beverages. In each group, approximately 85% of students reported consuming these drinks at least once in the past seven days, and around 30% of students reported daily consumption. In terms of reducing in-school access and purchase, only policies that banned all sugar-sweetened beverages seemed to be effective.
School bans on sugar-sweetened beverages does not appear to lessen consumption among adolescents. Still, to control children's access to and purchase of these drinks while in school, a comprehensive ban may be more effective than a soda-only restriction.
The full study, "Banning All Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Middle Schools," is published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
From the November 9, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.