Give ‘Em a Shot

At my school we don’t allow pop to be sold until a certain time during the day (1 or 2 pm) because of the rise of child obesity, the increasing ingestion of caffeine, and the higher rates of childhood diabetes among other health concerns. Of course, the drop in sales has greatly affected the ASB coffers. However, an interesting replacement has emerged.

Oddly, despite the concerns over the high sugar and caffeine content of soda, the school has a student coffee stand selling coffees, lattes, and energy drinks. One advertisement states that students can purchase multi-shot espresso-type drinks or “super” energy drinks. Students may also add extra energy to the drinks if they wish.

I just can’t see the justification for banning one in the morning while allowing the other, especially when an argument could be made that the energy drinks and coffees may be worse. Teachers can literally watch the students “crash” during classes, and then the students look for more energy drinks and coffee.

A concern for me is that, besides the seemingly odd allowance of these drinks, I truly believe we are implicitly advocating this student behavior and creating a possible addiction in our students. Are we co-dependents in this; are we accepting profit in exchange for a new addiction?


7 thoughts on “Give ‘Em a Shot

  1. Karen Halls

    I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    Karen Halls

  2. Betty

    I didn’t realize how strong some of the energy drinks were until one of my daughters told me. She added a popular powder mix with caffeine to her water and couldn’t believe how much energy she had for the rest of the day. I guess I never really believed caffeine made that much of a difference. With all of the coffee shops around, it’s no wonder everyone is getting hooked. Maybe the school could sell healthy smoothies instead!

  3. drpezz Post author

    Betty, I, too, was amazed at how powerful those drinks can be. Some of the kids talk about 4-6 shots in a single drink and consuming more than one a day! I can’t imagine how they ever sleep.

  4. Kim

    Before this year, high schoolers where I teach were allowed to get pop/soda at any time of the day from any of the four machines. It was not uncommon for students in my afternoon classes to have already had 2 or 3 Mountain Dews. Finally, the administration has started to make some changes. All of the machines now only have diet pop. While diet still contains the caffeine, at least the sugar is gone. Plus, most kids don’t like diet, so they don’t drink it anyway. We have also added a Gatorade machine. Gatorade still contains all the sugar pop does, I believe, and is just as popular as pop with the kids. We used to have a milk machine, which sold flavored milk-vanilla, chocolate, strawberry-but that was taken out due to lack of sales.

    I don’t think pop should be sold at school at all. The money made from our machines goes into the “Principal’s Fund,” which he uses at his discretion for school-related activities. In my opinion, it’s not worth it.

  5. mz.w

    pop? what state are y’all in?
    the energy drinks?—BAD!!! there has actually been a rise in 911 and poison control center calls for the teens based on teens basically overdosing on caffeine and all the other random stimulants in the drinks. my gym sells some drink that comes in a 6 oz can you can’t buy unless you are 18+…i don’t wanna know what’s in that.
    soda–not a good choice for reasons we are all familiar with.
    coffee–not bad. coffee has anti-oxidants, fiber and when combined w/lowfat milk, protein and calcium. are the teens going to go for it in moderation? no. i didn’t when i was in hschool. maybe they should only sell the coffee drinks before noon. coffee is the least of all evils and as someone who has always hated mornings and whose mom used to give her tea/coffee starting at age 12 to make the mornings go better(for mom), i still work at sbux once a week to get free/discounted coffee. it ain’t no thing. the crash and burn, well, how much sleep are the kids getting? that’s more of an issue for me than their coffee consumption, since lack of sleep contributes to so many health issues. also, the kids probably don’t know this, but drip coffee usually has more caffeine than a shot of espresso or six, and is cheaper. i tell my students that if they have to go to starbucks, get a tall flavored latte, mocha, or a short cup of coffee, but stay away from frappuccinos since those drinks are all fat and sugar. and i teach middle school.

  6. wetlandstom

    No, we won’t let them drink sugar drinks but will let them get hopped up on a drug (no matter how mild it is). What are we teaching our children by allowing them to get so called energy drinks while at school?

    If they were to eat a regular nutritious diet (diet: the noun not the verb), they would not need caffeine. And (!) the school system is making money of this! I think this is bad all around.


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