Take your Coke lessons from Clinton

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

For a man whose presidential campaign was often spoofed by images of his gluttonous, unhealthy eating practices, Bill Clinton is a changed man.

Years ago, Clinton infamously wolfed down unhealthy fast food during a campaign stop. But on Wednesday, the former president was celebrating efforts to take the unhealthy fizz out of our nation&8217;s schools.

A potentially life-saving agreement was poured out between the nation&8217;s three largest soft drink bottlers and a group Clinton helped form.

Email newsletter signup

The deal aims to end the sale of sugary sodas and other high-calorie drinks at schools, with the exception of sporting events and others at which parents are likely to attend.

Despite what students might think, the point is not to punish them, but to wean them off of the sugary sweets that can cause obesity.

Years ago, having a Coca-Cola or a Pepsi was considered a treat. Today, it&8217;s become a staple in American households and schools.

A recent study by the University of Southern Mississippi found that 24 percent of children in grades 1-8 are overweight.

Curbing soft-drink sales won&8217;t stop that alarming trend overnight, but every bit helps.

Clinton summed up the importance well on Wednesday.

&8220;You can&8217;t single out one cause of this problem,&8221; he said. &8220;But if an 8-year-old child took in 45 less calories per day, by the time he reached high school, he would weigh 20 pounds less than he would have otherwise.&8221;

If Clinton can change his eating habits, we should be able to help our children do the same.