On one hand advocates for children’s health wish that schools didn’t sell soda and sugary drinks at schools. On the other hand schools often desperately need the added income that drink sales bring to them.
In a new approach to help schools raise resources while addressing childhood health and nutrition concerns, the Coca-Cola Company and its United States bottling system have created Model Guidelines for School Beverage Partnerships, which apply to all current and future relationships between Coca-Cola and K-12 schools in the United States. The goal of the guidelines is to give educators the power to choose what's right for their students and the flexibility to raise funds for youth development and physical activity initiatives.
Key points include:
- Technology/timers will be made available to school partners to place time constraints on specific vending machines to meet requirements and local preferences.
- Carbonated soft drinks will not be made available to students in elementary schools during the school day. Available products will include 100 percent juices, milk-based products, juice drinks, rehydrating sports drinks and water.
- Vending machines in middle schools and high schools may include carbonated soft drinks as well as 100 percent juices, milk-based products, water, juice drinks, teas and rehydrating sports drinks.
Although some groups are pleased with the guidelines, others are more cautious. “Though Coke lays out some modest conditions for marketing and selling their products in schools, this is by no means a major scaling back of marketing soft drinks in schools,” said Dr. Margo Wootan from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in Washington, DC, via e-mail