Diet Sodas in Schools?

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Pepsi-Cola of Topeka is lobbying the Kansas State Board of Education to drop a widely followed recommendation that schools not sell low-calorie sodas.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Pepsi of Topeka general manager Patrick O’Donnell says the company has voluntarily changed the products it sells in school vending machines to offer healthier options, even though it meant losing sales.

Federal regulations taking effect in July will force the company to sell smaller bottles of some beverages, such as juices and sports drinks, which is expected to cut revenues further. O’Donnell says selling diet soda in high schools could help offset those losses and help districts, too. Beverage commissions and exclusivity deals can provide significant funding in large school districts. Districts already have been getting smaller commissions because of the lost sales.