CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: Feb. 15, 2002
UI To Host Public Forum On Soft Drinks In Iowa Schools March 8
The University of Iowa will host a public forum on
the issue of soft drinks in Iowa's public schools from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday,
March 8 in Galagan Auditorium in the UI Dental Science Building.
The forum, "Soft Drinks in Iowa Public Schools: Emerging
Epidemics and Possible Solutions," will give health care professionals and
the public the opportunity to learn more about a growing public health issue,
said Jonathan Shenkin, D.D.S., a pediatric dentistry resident at the UI College
of Dentistry and moderator for the event.
"This is an important issue in terms of children and
tooth decay prevention, but also in terms of obesity, diabetes and other long-term
health effects related to kids consuming all these empty calories at school,"
Panelists for the forum include Iowa State Sen. Joe
Bolkcom (D-Iowa City); William Jacobson, Ph.D., superintendent of the Marion
Independent School District; Michael Kanellis, D.D.S., UI associate professor
and chair of pediatric dentistry; Linda Snetselaar, Ph.D., UI associate professor
of epidemiology; and Eva Tsalikian, M.D., UI associate professor of pediatrics
and director of the department's endocrinology division.
In October 2000 at its annual meeting, the American
Dental Association passed a resolution opposing contractual arrangements that
influence consumption patterns by promoting increased access to "soft drinks"
in schools for children.
"The Association encourages state and local dental
societies to work with education officials, pediatric and family practice
physicians, dietetic professionals, parent groups, and all interested parties
to increase awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy vending choices
in schools, and to encourage the promotion of beverages of high nutritional
value," according to the ADA.
In the Iowa Legislature, a bill has been introduced
to require the Iowa Department of Education to conduct a study concerning
the prevalence of carbonated beverage sales in Iowa's K-12 schools.