No Calories For Me

Based on federal guidelines, public schools are restricted to certain snacks and drinks


Nathan Poteet

Kickstart has gone through the process and has been approved to be sold in schools.

by Nathan Poteet, Web Designer

If you’ve been through the lunch line or gone to the gally in SCHS; then you’ve probably seen the Mountain Dew Kickstarts for sale. Or perhaps you have seen the diet sodas also for sale. People believe diet sodas are better for their weight control, but there is a chemical called Aspartame that is being studied by scientists as a cancer-causing chemical. Regular sodas use sugar to sweeten their products, and while they bring more calories, they don’t have the same long term effects as Aspartame. Diet sodas containing aspartame can lead to about 92 different diseases including cancer, seizures, depression, multiple sclerosis, and even birth defects.  

The USDA has limits on what schools can sell based on the nutrition facts of said items. For instance, any snack must have less than 200mg of sodium and 200 calories. What doesn’t make sense is if we can have snacks that have up to 200 calories, why are the drinks limited to less than 40 calories per 12 fl.oz.?

“I think the food service that we work with is trying to do as much as they can to meet those guidelines, as well as try to provide better food for the students,” said Assistant Principal Jeff Thorne. 

I was more curious about why we had the Mountain Dew Kickstarts instead of any other low calorie and low sodium energy drink by PepsiCo. So I went and asked our Marketing teacher Judy Simmons who also runs our galley.

“Pepsi has figured out what size they can sell to me that we can turn around and re-sell that will meet those nutrition guidelines,” Simmons said.  

So the reason we can’t have regular sodas, or other energy drinks besides Kickstarts is because of strict guidelines set by the government that can’t be broken without losing funding for public education.