Soda conversion leaves students fizzed

By Brett A. Mejia ’13

Photo by Kevin Valenzuela '13 - Yash Patel '13 fills a cup from the soda fountain in the Great Hall after school Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Photo by Kevin Valenzuela '13 - Yash Patel '13 fills a cup from the soda fountain in the Great Hall after school Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Last year Brophy was one of the only high schools in Arizona to sell soda to students.

This year however, the Brophy administration has evicted soda from the campus.

The idea of banning soda has been floating around for a few years now, but it wasn’t until last year’s Summit on Food that the issue of soda became imperative.

“The main catalyst was the Summit on Food … I said (to Brophy president Rev. Eddie Reese) we’re talking a big game, but we are not doing what Ignatius would do, acting on it,” said Brophy Vice President Ms. Adria Renke.

“We can’t share this information with students and then just go along as we’ve always gone along, that is not what we’re about,” she added.

Instead of regular soda, students now can choose from water, diet soda, sports drinks, and other alternatives in the Great Hall and the vending machines.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits the sale of “food of minimal nutritional value” in public schools during lunch, which includes soda.

The Voluntary Arizona Nutrition Standards (VANS), which was developed by the Arizona Department of Education, is considered a tool for high schools to use for improving foods and beverages offered on campus.

The latest revision of the document states that “sports drinks, fruit juices, tea and diet beverages are the standard beverages for a school to have on campus, but it prohibits four percent milk and drinks that contain caffeine and labeled as, but not limited to, an energy drink, mood stimulant, or metabolism enhancer.”

“This isn’t the perfect solution,” Ms. Renke said. “The perfect solution is to offer milk, water and pure fruit juice with no additives.”

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found nearly 25 percent of high school students drink at least one soda every day.

According to the CDC, these beverages can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity.

“Soda is just empty calories; it’s sugar,” Mr. White said in a previous interview with the Roundup. “It’s setting up people for obesity.”

Brophy food catering service, Michael’s, has been supportive of the soda adjustment by agreeing to stop selling soda and to promote healthier choices.

“They (Michael’s) have been on the bandwagon to do the right thing for you students … they have been very, very helpful in trying to move us forward in doing in what we say,” Ms. Renke said.

Every year Brophy health educator and Sports Medicine teacher Mr. Chris White submits a health improvement proposal, with all kinds of recommendations and restrictions, such as getting rid of soda, to help Brophy become a healthier student body.

“If I had it my way, we would get rid of all the diet sodas and anything caffeinated,” Mr. White said.

The affect has taken the attention of students for better or worse.

“I think this is awful. Every day at lunch I used to drink Dr. Pepper and the Diet Dr. Pepper doesn’t taste the same,” said Grant Hickey ’14. “It has affected my lunch because now I have to drink Gatorade and it’s no Dr. Pepper.”

Other students are not convinced that diet soda is better.

“It sucks because we have been informed that the diet stuff (soda) is worse for you than regular stuff,” said Josh Klugman ’14.

On the other hand some students think the change will have a positive impact on Brophy.

“I think the soda changes have a great effect on Brophy,” said Kevin Bauer ’14. “I think less people are buying sodas now and more people are buying Gatorade.