Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Schools Still Keen on Sugary Sodas

Sodas, Sugar-Sweetened Juices, and Higher-Fat Milk Compete With Healthier Options in Schools
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Girl at soda machine

Nov. 1, 2010 -- Students’ access to sugary sodas and other high-calorie beverages in elementary schools is on the rise, despite national recommendations against them.

A new survey shows that sugary sodas, sugar-sweetened fruit juice, higher-fat milk, and other high-calorie beverages are still widely available in most elementary schools, even though the Institute of Medicine recommends that elementary schools offer only water, 100% juice (4-oz serving), and nonfat or 1% flavored or unflavored milk (8-oz serving).

Researchers found during the 2008-2009 school year that 61% of elementary school students could buy beverages in one or more venues, such as in the cafeteria during lunch a la carte, from vending machines, and in school stores. That’s up from 49% of schools in the 2006-2007 school year.

“Because children spend many hours in school, changes are needed to make the school environment healthier by limiting the availability of high-calorie beverages,” write researcher Lindsey Turner, PhD, and colleagues in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

Access to High-Calorie Drinks Changing

In the study, researchers surveyed public and private elementary schools during the 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and 2008-2009 school years.

Researchers say the good news is that the number of public school students with access to only beverages recommended by the national guidelines (water, 100% juice, and 1% or nonfat milk) increased from 10% to 16% from the 2006-2007 to 2008-2009 school year.

In addition, the study showed most public school students still had access to higher-fat milk at lunch, although the percentage decreased from 78% in 2006-2007 to 68% in 2008-2009.  “Our results show some encouraging changes in the availability of healthy beverages in schools, but there are many more opportunities for change,” write the researchers, “… much work remains to be done to reduce the availability of unhealthy beverages in elementary schools.”

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
Article
look at my hand
Slideshow
 
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
young boy with fever
Article
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections