To fight the epidemic of childhood obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for schools to remove soft drink machines. The group says schools should send a message of nutrition to students, and they are worried about the empty sugar and calories in soda and juice contributing to weight problems.
Michigan Surgeon General Kimberlydawn Wisdom says one in six children in the United States are at risk for being overweight. She says adolescent obesity has tripled in the last twenty years. She says children should be offered a wide variety of nutritious options to choose from.
Schools, on the other hand, say soft drink machines do have a number of choices for students. In addition to pop, there is also water and juice. In the Lansing School District, soda machines brought in nearly a million dollars in the last three years. Officials say that's money that goes straight back to students, funding program and activities. Schools say removing soft drinks would just cause students to buy them elsewhere, and the money the districts could make would go with them.