Soft Drinks and Schools

May 22, 2008
By Antonia Lotti, McDonough, GA

Soft-drink companies and schools have formed unprecedented partnerships within the past ten years. This process is beneficial to both parties in that the soft-drink companies get the exclusive privilege of advertising, while the school receives many funds to use as they so choose. School districts should form a partnership with soft-drink companies because of the funds provided to the school and the increase in soft-drink production. These benefits surpass the minor and fixable negative effects of forming a partnership with soft-drink companies.

With the recent increase in the obesity of children, placing soft-drinks in schools could bring about unsafe eating behaviors . “One of every four children is now overweight,” which is brought on by high blood pressure caused by drinking soda (Source B). As teenagers, students will make the decision whether or not to drink a soft-drink on their own. Also, sodas being sold in schools will keep student from leaving campus to purchase sodas on their own .Although the sale of soft-drinks can increase obesity in teens, the sales in schools will not increase the already high consumptions of soft-drinks by teenagers. Despite this minor detail, “Entering the schools makes perfect sense.”

With the government limiting the amount of money given to schools each year, partnering up with soft-drink companies would profoundly increase the schools yearly income. A ten year deal with Coca-cola brought in “$11 million during the life of the contract” (Source A). Partnering with soft-drink companies is a “win win” situation, “It’s good for us. Good for schools” . The sale of commercial foods in schools also benefits the relationship between the principals and their students, because the “administrators encourage to drink students, even in the classrooms” . Since the students are drinking sodas in the classroom, thirst is no longer a distraction and the students are therefore able to pay better attention to their teachers.

Lastly, the soft drink companies benefit from the partnerships with schools in that they receive extra advertising and the productions of their soft drinks increases greatly. From 1947 to 1997 alone, soft drink production by five hundred 12 ounce cans per person. Also, “ Influencing Elementary students is very important to soft drink marketers because children are still establishing their tastes and habits” . This allows the soft drink companies to attract children at a young age and potentially make customers for life. In the year 2000, a little over seventy six percent of schools contained vending machines selling soft drinks, which tremendously increases revenue for both the soft drink company and the school selling the products.

In conclusion, soft drink companies entering schools is essential to the increase in productivity of both the school and the soft drink company. This is a positive approach to ensuring that schools can provide students with clean and safe learning environment, and the soft drink companies with advertising to the rising generation.

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