State Rep Wants to Ban Soda in Public Schools. For Real This Time.

Categories: Legislature

In 2003, the state of Texas took a halfhearted swing at skyrocketing childhood obesity rates when it took steps to ban the sale of soda and candy -- though only in elementary schools and only during breakfast and lunch. Those rules were strengthened in 2009, but middle and high school students can still get sugary beverages.

State Representative Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, is out to change that. She filed a bill on Monday that would outlaw schools from providing or selling sweetened beverages -- including but not limited to soda, sports drinks, Kool-Aid and frozen margaritas -- on Texas' public school campuses. Still allowed would be 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, vitamin-enhanced water, non-fortified water and milk, 1percent fat or less.

This will be Alvarado's second go at the measure. She introduced a more or less identical bill last year, which easily passed the House despite opposition from folks like Representative Jodie Laudenberg, a Republican from Parker, who said lawmakers were "telling [students] that we don't trust their judgment on things," apparently forgetting that she was referring to teenagers, whose judgment absolutely should not be trusted.

The bill hit a dead-end in the Senate, where it died in committee.

It's a new day, and perhaps Alvarado's colleagues in the other chamber will move the bill forward this time. Or, perhaps not. There is scant evidence that such bans actually reduce kids' consumption of sugary drinks or make a dent in childhood obesity.

One could still argue that schools are sending the wrong message by selling the stuff, but question remains: What about straight corn syrup? It's basically corn juice, albeit processed into unrecognizable form. Does Alvarado's bill leave the door open for some cash-strapped school district to peddle shots of corn syrup to sugar-deprived pupils? I think it does.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

What about cheese-heroin? Are they banning that, as well?


My point is that the more we rely on the State to keep kids and ourselves from "bad things". The more sheeplike we become. Then all your favorite stuff becomes a bad thing


Contrary to myth, natural fruit juices contain more sugar than colas. The fruits themselves are the health food. Sucking up OJ vs. colas will not do one thing for obesity


@Dallas_Observer if they only put that much thought into the food served at schools too. We need more @jamieoliver.


Nutrition is Not a private matter, It is the responsibility of the state. Children obviously cannot be trusted to eat correctly, Nor can their parents. America needs state-enforced dietary restrictions

mavdog topcommenter

the issue is what is being provided to kids in public schools, which is very much the province of the State. After all, the bottom line is the State thru the ISD is the providor.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@albert.finney000 Soaring obesity and diabetes rates confirm what you are advocating.  Big Kitty is on a forced diet and she looks fabbo.  I need to change my picture, but this commenting system is not co-operating.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault