In an effort to curb diabetes in children throughout the nation, major beverage companies have agreed to stop selling soda on middle and high school campuses.
In a deal announced last week by the William J. Clinton Foundation, the nation’s largest beverage distributors agreed to replace high-calorie sodas with low-fat milk, unsweetened juice and water in middle school vending machines across the nation, in which childhood obesity has become a significant problem.
Under the agreement, public high schools would be sold only diet soda.
This is a paramount step in the fight toward curbing diabetes among youths, but the public should be skeptical of how the deal was achieved and if we can expect soda companies to continue their commitment to healthier adolescents.
As the number of cases of children with Type 2 diabetes increases, soda companies could be subject to major lawsuits in the near future if they continue to sell high-calorie beverages in schools.
Without the threat of legal action, it is unlikely that corporations would have agreed to stop selling soda in public schools.
While this agreement is a step in the right direction for the well-being of the nation’s youth, more needs to be done on the part of lawmakers and the public to foster a healthy environment for children.
There needs to be crackdowns on the types of school lunches offered and confectionary food items on campus. Most importantly, it is the parent’s primary responsibility to ensure that their child is consuming a nutritious diet. Furthermore, we may wonder why some of the world’s most popular soda companies have agreed to pull soda from vending machines. Perhaps they are on the same page as health care professionals who are looking out for children, or perhaps it is because soda sales on campuses are just a small slice of their consumer market.
Major beverage companies like Coca-Cola have used this agreement as a way to pledge their commitment toward combating diabetes among America’s youth.
If a soda company was to suffer significant profit loss, it is questionable whether they would agree to stop selling soda on campuses.
Before we applaud these so-called promoters of good health, we must be skeptical of how much we can depend on a corporation’s good conscience. The struggle to keep our nation’s youth healthy is ultimately in the hands of parents, educators and health care professionals.
While companies take credit for this good deed, there are still many obstacles to overcome before any significant progress will be made. We cannot rely on corporations to come around and voluntarily agree to promote good health.
However, once a corporation does commit to promoting physical well-being without taking into account their own best interest is when we can cooperatively work together to find solutions to this growing epidemic.
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Filed Under: Opinion