Apparently all those irresponsible rumors about the soft-drink industry being totally omnipotent were overstated, as the three major soda companies have recently and voluntarily agreed to remove “sweetened drinks like Coke, Pepsi, and iced teas” from school cafeterias, in response to the growing number of lawsuits and pending state legislation that would ban soda from schools for health reasons. And here we thought that the soda lobby could prevail against these legislators forever. Guess not.
On the other hand, maybe it’s too early to count Big Cola out. The Times story notes that “the beverage industry said its school sales would not be affected because it expected to replace sugary drinks with other ones.” Graham Amazon, med student and intrepid blogger, thinks that the juice these companies will now peddle heavily in schools will pose a new problem, partly because everyone thinks juice is healthy—even when it’s not juice, but sugar that tastes like juice. This would all seem sort of silly if it wasn’t making everyone unhealthy and driving up our medical bills.