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Debates from Four States Over Selling Soda in Schools

2008 | Download

In 2006, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts and Maryland introduced legislation that included restrictions on the sale of soda in schools. That same year, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation brokered a deal among soda companies to restrict soda sales in schools.

PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group wanted to know: How were the arguments for and against restricting access to soda and junk food being portrayed in the news and in testimony before lawmakers? Who was making the arguments, and what were they saying?

Download the study. 

This study examines the debates surrounding the 2006 state legislation in Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana, and Massachusetts as reflected in the news and opinion coverage in each state’s newspapers and in arguments that appeared in legislative documents. We also examined articles on school nutrition policies from Ohio newspapers in order to compare the public conversation on school nutrition in a state without pending legislation.

This study explores themes in nutrition policy topics from these four states, along with recommendations for how public health advocates can frame similar campaigns, and make their messages heard in the media.