Pepsi’s packing up its books and dropping out of high school.
PepsiCo Inc. announced on Tuesday, March 16 that they planned to remove sweetened, high-calorie drinks including soda from high schools in more than 200 countries by 2012, this includes Penn Manor.
Answering to cries from critics and food activists, Pepsi is one of the few companies to change their product distribution in an effort to fight childhood obesity. Pepsi plans to replace the soda with water, fruit juice and diet drinks.
Penn Manor family and consumer science teacher Laura Weaner believes it’s a good idea, but doesn’t know if it will solve the problem.
“I think students will find other sources of sugar. They’re not just going to stop,” said Weaner.
But not all of the teachers are looking forward to it.
“I’m torn because I’m a soda drinker myself,” said teacher Holly Astheimer.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, one in three school-age children are overweight or obese.
But will Pepsi removing soda help bring down this statistic?
“[Students] are gonna buy whatever is there,” said sophomore Courtney Jacobs.
“If soda’s not there, they’re gonna get iced tea or juice,” added junior Jill Wiley.
Both girls agree that Pepsi’s decision is a good idea.
While Pepsi’s soda may not be available in Penn Manor and other schools, competitor company Coca-Cola Co. has no plans to do the same.
“We believe school authorities should have the right to choose what is best for their schools,” says Coke spokeswoman Crystal Warwell Walker to USA Today.
The news didn’t come as a shock or upset to many people.
“I could care less. I’m not sad,” said Jacobs.
This topic has been a debate for years now. First lady Michelle Obama will hold an annual conference with the largest food companies urging them to “entirely rethink” products they market to kids according to USA Today.
From Pepsi vs. Coke to can vs. bottle, the new soda debate is whether it’s in or out of high schools.
By Mike Nitroy and Lindsey Ostrum