KNAU and Arizona News
11:03 pm
Wed February 8, 2006

High school junk food restrictions tweaked

Phoenix – Anderson was successful last year in shepherding through legislation to ban candy bars, potato chips and sodas at elementary, middle and junior high schools. But lawmakers balked at expanding that to high schools, at least in part because of opposition from the companies that make the foods sold in vending machines on school campuses. So Anderson is back with a new plan -- give $50,000 to the first 50 high schools willing to voluntarily adopt the standards. But he's not calling it a bribe.

(I would say incentivize is probably a better word.)

Whatever the word, the plan still isn't liked by John Kalil. He's the president of the Arizona Beverage Association and the general manager of the family-owned soda company that bears his name.

(We believe that, for starters, that high school students are older, and they should be allowed to have more decisions to make. They are driving cars. They can vote.)

Kalil said soda makers already voluntarily limit sugared sodas to only half the available slots in school vending machines. But Anderson said that's no solution at all, as it still allows youngsters whose parents don't permit them to drink sugared sodas at home to buy them at school -- perhaps just because that's what the commercials say the cool kids drink. In Phoenix, for Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.