Howard County should keep soft drinks out of its schools [Letter]

April 08, 2013

As a Foreign Service family who lived for six years in Central America, where no soda was allowed on our children's school campus, we were very surprised to discover that the highly rated Howard County schools still sell soda in vending machines.

Soft drinks contribute nothing nutritionally, but can do a lot of damage to our children's health. Yet, schools selling soft drinks send a clear message that these are okay to consume. As a parent who discourages my children from drinking soft drinks, having a soda machine at school undermines my efforts as well, making our jobs as parents that much harder.

Our schools should set a clear example. With children now being diagnosed with "adult-onset diabetes" owing to poor diets, our schools should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. That's why both the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control recommend that high-calorie drinks not be sold in schools.

Healthier alternatives can still generate healthy revenues for schools. Other school districts have already changed their policies to only sell healthier options in their schools. I urge HCPSS to follow their lead to produce both healthy kids and healthy revenues for schools.

Deborah Lattimer


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