Selling soda: What are the costs and benefits to students and schools? March 25, 2004, Student Run Press Conference

When SB 677 (Ortiz) was introduced it aimed to ban soda and other high-sugar drinks at elementary, intermediate and high schools. While the bill was amended to exclude high schools from the ban, the question still remains, do the financial benefits of vending machines on high school campuses outweigh the costs associated with too much soda consumption?

According to the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), childhood obesity and inactivity has reached an all-time high in California. It is estimated that 26.5% of California kids are overweight and 39.6% are unfit. CCPHA suggests that part of the solution is to limit the amount of soft drinks available to students. On the other hand, the average high school collects $30,000 a year in drink vending sales that can be used to fund school newspapers, drama clubs and other special programs. As state funding for education decreases, can schools afford to eliminate the sale of sodas or have schools become so reliant on the revenues from soda sales, that they are forced to maintain their presence on school campuses despite the health risks? Where do students stand on this issue?