Mississippi May Pull The Plug On Soda Vending Machines - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi May Pull The Plug On Soda Vending Machines

"Let me see which one I want," said one student as he stood in front of a vending machine.

It's hard to resist the signs, especially if you're thirsty for a quick pick-me-up.

"I got a Coke," said Gulfport High Freshman Lindsey Polk. "That is a good drink. It gives you caffeine and energy to get through the day."

Ninth Grader Ashleigh Davis says she needs her caffeine fix twice a day.

"I buy soft drinks," said Freshman Ashleigh Davis. "Sometimes in the morning I'm tired, or sometimes if I'm getting one for lunch."

"It's hard to get them to stop," said Debbie Chatagnier as she watched the students hover over the cola machines.

Chatagnier is the Gulfport School District's Child Nutrition Administrator. She says even though vending machines must be turned off certain hours of the day, and there are plenty of nutritious choices, more must be done to stop students from buying the sugared-soft drinks.

"I am really excited about it and I have to applaud the American Beverage Association, that they have done this, to not have it here during the day," said Chatagnier.

Students have mixed reaction to the push to pull the plug on certain soda machines.

"Offer diet drinks definitely, but still keep the regular drinks, because a lot of people are interested in that," said Ashleigh Davis.

Lindsey Polk said, "I think that's a good idea because I know a lot of girls that really want to lose weight. This is really tempting."

School leaders say getting rid of the high-calorie temptation is certainly a good start to a healthier Mississippi. Schools receive money for having vending machines on campus. Some leaders say if they stop selling sodas, they don't expect to lose revenue, because students will spend money on nutritious drinks.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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