The sugary drink dilemma

Eight or nine years ago when Michelle Obama was admitted as First Lady, there became a push for snacks and drinks with a certain amount of carbs or sugars. She called this the Let’s Move Campaign. Schools started to look into the nutritional value of items and how they should be in a child’s diet. It was even taken farther than the cafeteria; snacks sold were also pressured to be healthier. Everything in the vending machines and cafeteria was switched out for the “healthier option.” These diet drinks and snacks are less favored by students. So how, in 2023, do Chapman and other schools seem to overrule this regulation?

Diet Coke, Sprite, and even Powerade are in these vending machines with calorie counts equalling zero. Yet when Chapman students are asked which they like better, diet or regular, regular wins with 85% of the vote. Chapman students can still find a way to have their daily take of soda and snacks though. The way we seem to cheat the system is with Life Cafe.

While the vending machines are run through an outside source that comes and refills the snacks, Life Cafe is entirely Chapman based. The vending machines are also used for profit while Life Cafe’s earnings go right back to help support their activities. This makes the difference between these two. Since Life Cafe is run through Chapman, it can lay under the radar while what we sell in the cafeteria and vending machines are monitored and remain “healthy.” This is how other schools do the same thing. Other schools like Boiling Springs also have cafes that sell items that wouldn’t be included in the regulations.

This makes all of these high school cafes technically against the codes. Since 2005, the school board has been pushing to remove such items. However, they are overlooked sometimes out of pure kindness. Being part of a cafe is a student activity almost like a club. If the school is like Chapman, then maybe it is entirely staffed by special service kids. Although some overseers might know what’s happening inside the school, they are unlikely to ever shut it down. Yet if the issue is brought up to higher-ups, these cafes could likely be stopped.

With sugar drinks and snacks being well-loved by students, schools find a way around regulations to sell them. The student-ran cafes hid under the umbrella that is school activities/ clubs but if really brought up to the advisors could be shut down. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon.