Junk food in schools  pg. 2

At Franklin High, there are more than 45 vending machines serving about 1,650 students. The only non-sugary options they offer are water and PowerAde.

The machines are supposed to be turned off during the lunch hours, but that policy is often ignored. As a result, many students are diverted from healthier food choices in the cafeteria. “Our cafeteria has a good variety of healthy items for students,” cafeteria manager Linda Jones says. “Vending machines hurt our business desperately.”

Franklin High’s athletic director, Kathy Caudill, has a different view. “Athletes need to eat to maintain energy at the end of the day,” she says. “With a bit of searching, (they) can find an appropriate snack food in the vending machines.”

Athletes are often active enough to burn off the calories from snack foods, but many non-athletic students also indulge themselves with the plethora of snack choices. Candy is being purchased from the machines every period of the day, Tanksley says.

If vending machines are a necessary evil to supplement funds not provided through “free public education,” they should at least be stocked with healthier options like power bars, bananas, orange juice and milk.

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