September 21st, 2012
Up for Debate: Marketing of Sports Drinks on a High School Campus
By Brent Ainsworth
If you’re passionate about health and nutrition in our public schools, could you keep your mouth zipped if you knew representatives from a sports drink company would be on a high school campus handing out free samples to students?
Michelle Stern is a biology teacher at Novato High School, and she said she “couldn’t keep her trap shut,” especially when she heard the Gatorade reps said they came to offer “nutrition classes” that turned into a pure marketing pitch. Stern wrote this blog post about her concerns, and the school has since taken action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Stern’s motivation? She said the California state education code is intended to protect students and to ensure that they are not offered “non-nutritious” items at school. The majority of the samples being served exceeded the legal limits on sugar, sodium and/or potassium.