In a move that could have national implications, the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District has voted unanimously to ban the sale of soft drinks at all of its 677 schools. As we’ve told you before, this was a scientifically bankrupt decision, based on a layman’s understanding of widely misinterpreted research. And just yesterday, a scientist at Virginia Tech released a statement declaring that “soft drink consumption by teens is often far less than is reported.” Real science notwithstanding, Los Angeles schoolchildren will soon have to consider a soda pop the next forbidden fruit.
The Daily News of Los Angeles notes that the decision has “left principals worried about how to replace thousands of dollars they get each year from soft-drink sales to fund sports and other extracurricular activities.” One high school principal told the Daily News that his contract with Coca-Cola netted over $40,000 last year, money that went largely to fund athletic programs.
It’s even more shocking in this context to consider that the LA school board also voted yesterday against a proposal that would have required the district to come up with money to replace the lost funds. Predictably, no one is talking about the effect of lost athletic and exercise opportunities on teenage waistlines.