Soda cut back a good move

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 17, 2007

A couple of years ago, a study showed that Alabama had the highest obesity rates in the country.

The state board of education is attempting to do something about that.

On Thursday, Alabama became the second state to impose a ban on full-calorie soft drinks in all its public schools.

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The state school board

approved a policy that has just one exception: high schools can sell diet soft drinks.

The board unanimously passed the policy, which bans carbonated drinks in middle schools and only allows no or low-calorie versions in high schools. The move comes two years after board members banned sodas from elementary schools.

Students in all three grade levels can have bottled water of any size. Drinks in middle and elementary schools are limited to milk and juices while high school students can also have no or low-calorie beverages, sports drinks and teas.

At least half of the drinks in vending machines at high schools must be water.

The move is a good first step. Of course, more has to be done in addition to limiting soft drinks on campuses.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes, families have to be involved together in an effort to eat healthier. In addition to drinking less sodas, the institute recommends adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet and being involved in 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

The state board of education took a big step this week in helping eliminate sugar in our children’s diets.

At least while they are on campus.

The rest will be up to the parents and other caregivers who must set the example for their children.