School soda bans do not affect amount of students’ consumption

Nov. 8—According to a new study, state laws that ban soda in schools, but not other sweetened beverages, have virtually no impact on the amount of sugary drinks middle school students purchase and consume at school. The study found that when sodas were removed from school cafeterias and vending machines, students purchased sports drinks, sweetened fruit drinks and other sugar-laden beverages instead.

The study, published this week in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that 28.9% of students purchased sugary drinks in schools where soda was removed. In states that do not have a soda ban, 26% of students purchased sugary drinks.

The study also found that in schools where all sugary drinks were banned, students’ overall consumption of sugary drinks did not fall even though they had less access to those beverages on campus.

“The laws did exactly what they were designed to do,” Daniel R. Taber, one of the study’s authors and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in the New York Times. “They were designed to reduce kids’ access to sweetened beverages in schools, but you can’t expect schools to do it all on their own.”

Read more about the study’s results here.