School Soda Bans Appear Futile
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.