My husband says I am not only preaching, but meddling now. The “sacred cow” we are looking at this week is soda pop, meaning drinks like coke, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, etc. There is quite a bit of research on the effects of soda pop on children. That is why some states are removing pop machines from their schools. Many of us have heard about the health effects of soda pop; obesity, tooth decay, caffeine dependence, weakened bones, and cancer caused by benzene.

As a teacher for over 30 years, I have noted the effects of soda pop on children. Look around in our schools and you will find a great number of overweight kids. On the average, kids drink two to three cans of pop everyday adding 240- 360 calories to their diet.

Poor behavior in the classroom is sometimes caused by diet or lack of a nutritional diet. The sugars, caffeine, and phosphorus (causing weakened bones) in soda pop and other foods kids love to eat have increased attention problems, sugar rush leaving a lack of energy, and hyperactivity (ask any teacher on party day).

What is amazing to me is that we clean rust off nails and clean acid off car batteries with soda pop, and think there is no harm in drinking the stuff! Let's get back to basics. Read more research on soda pop at www.; Washington Post, Feb. 27, 2001 ; or Times March 2, 2006 .

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