Killer on campus: soft drinks run rampant

By Dakota Neff–

Instead of picking up a soft drink for your next meal, look out for other, more healthy, alternatives.

Soda, coke, pop, cola: no matter how you refer to the ubiquitous soft drink, you should know that it isn’t the harmless all-American treat that clever marketing campaigns would have you believe. One specific campaign is taking place right here at the University of Louisville. You will find Pepsi brand soft drinks for sale in every dining area, and Pepsi dispensing machines in nearly every building on campus. This is not okay.

I understand that the university needs corporate sponsors; but that doesn’t make it alright for them to be promoting something that is in every way detrimental to human health. In my opinion, the overconsumption of sweetened soft drinks is an epidemic.  The United States consumes massive amounts of soda, and word on the street is we’re the most overweight and unhealthy country in the world. Is there a correlation here? I believe so.

Logically, how can the university justify selling and promoting sugary chemical water and maintain the idea that student health is paramount? Soda has been directly linked to bone degeneration, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer, among numerous other serious health problems. You are what you eat. When you put unnatural chemicals in your body, you will pay the price. Is your health and well being worth a bubbly, sweet beverage?

You may think I’m over-exaggerating the negative effects of soft drinks; however this is exactly what brands like Pepsi want you to believe. They want to sell a product, nothing more. I assure you, they do not care if you die of cancer or an obesity-related stroke because of their product. I’d hate to accuse the university of the same blatant negligence. If the FDA wasn’t influenced by corporate interests, soda would not even be available as the casual, refreshing beverage we see for sale all across campus.

I urge you to make intelligent choices when you consume things; the university obviously isn’t going to make those decisions for you. Next time you’re on campus and need some hydration, grab some fruit juice, or better yet, water.

So in the name of student health and well being, I ask the University of Louisville to reconsider its corporate sponsorship with Pepsi Cola.

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Photo by Dakota Neff/The Louisville Cardinal

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