POSTED: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 3:16pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 3:28pm
MCALLEN — The Texas Public School Nutrition Policy is keeping the drinks high in sugar out of Texas Schools.
"It was implemented as a phase in, a 4-year phase in, so it became official in 2010," siad Yvonne Salinas, Dietitian for the Mcallen Independent School District.
The policy prevents problems associated with childhood obesity and promotes healthy eating.
Hoping that as the children progress to middle schools and the high schools, they've already developed good, healthy eating habits and will make better choices when they get into the higher grades," said Salinas.
Salinas is talking about students like 6th grader, Adrian Garza who has learned early on to make healthier choices.
"People, they get diabetes or they get obesity mostly because of beverages. It's not really because of snacks like most people think."
Adrian's science fair project on high sugar products took him all the way to state.
"Why do kids have diabetes, or why do kids become obese nowadays, I always wondered," said Garza.
He breaks it down...
"When you drink say a can of coke, your body is hit with a lot of sugar and your pancreas starts secreting insulin in an attempt to lower your blood sugar levels, but there's too much sugar and the insulin can't turn all that sugar into energy. And the sugar that cannot be used immediately turns into fat," said Garza.
The recommended daily intake of sugar is 28 to 30 grams. By drinking just one soda, it more than doubles that recommendation.
In elementary schools there cannot be more than 30 grams of sugar per 6 fluid ounces...and once in middle and high school that number stays the same per 8 ounces. Whole milk is not an option.
"We have to serve only 1% milk or skim milk at all levels of the schools," said Salinas.
And while the school is making a difference on the students...some of the students are making a difference on their peers. Adrian says his friends are now more conscience.
"They say that they stopped drinking stuff like coke and they moved to water," said Garza.
"We're trying to do everything correctly and trying to continue the standard of excellence we've set for ourselves in McAllen," said Salinas.