Moms and Teens Say Soda and School Fuel Junk Food Habit Model Schools Offer Healthy Alternatives that Students Like

Richmond, VA – Moms and their teens agree that teens are drinking the majority of their junk food, but they are at odds when it comes to exactly how much soda teens are consuming.

Eighty-six percent of teens and 67 percent of their moms said that soda was the junk food teens consumed the most, according to a recent telephone poll by The Switch Beverage Company.

When asked how many sodas they consumed each day, 45 percent of teens said three sodas or more. However, when moms were asked how many sodas their teens consumed each day, only two percent said three sodas or more.

“Teens are quenching their thirst and fueling their active lives with a dose of sugar and caffeine,” said Bill Hargis, president and co-founder of The Switch Beverage Company. “Teens want to drink something that tastes good, and soda is easily accessible. Unfortunately, moms can’t always influence their teens’ food and beverage choices.”

Soda and School
One place teens have access to junk food is school. Sixty-three percent of moms and 43 percent of their teens said that teens are fueling their junk food habits at school.

Nationwide school districts increased their purchases of soft drinks by 1,100 percent between 1985 and 1997, according to Food Politics. Already, many school districts are restricting the sale of junk food and soda during mealtime hours. Others are pulling foods of minimal nutritional value out of the schools altogether.


Healthy Alternatives
Companies are beginning to offer healthy alternatives to junk food in the schools. The Switch — an all-natural, 100 percent carbonated juice — is one of the healthy alternatives that two California companies are offering to students.

Healthy Body Products in Culver City, Calif., is hoping to help teens is 55 Los Angeles schools change the stereotype of what healthy tastes like.

“Many schools offer junk food and soda through vending machines,” said Claude Tellis, founder of Healthy Body Products. “However, a few model school systems are replacing soda with 100 percent juice, milk and water. Instead of candy, they are offering trail mix.”

Feel Good Foods in Santa Barbara, Calif., also is introducing healthy alternatives to junk food in Southern California schools.

“The response from our education market, from middle to high schools, has been phenomenal,” said Brian Hope of Feel Good Foods. “We’ve seen double-digit percentage gains almost on a weekly basis since we first introduced The Switch to schools in January. The students love it because it’s got a great soda-like taste, and the parents and teachers love it because it’s actually 100 percent juice.”

“As long as flavor is not sacrificed, teens will choose healthy alternatives if they are accessible and look cool,” said Tellis.

Between February 27, 2003 and March 14, 2003, the Switch Beverage Company conducted a telephone survey of 2,500 mothers and their teenagers (ages 13 to 18) to determine teens’ junk food habits and mothers’ perceptions of their teens’ junk food habits.

About The Switch
The Switch Beverage Company was founded in Richmond, VA in 2000. The Switch is the only drink on the market that contains 100% Juice that is 100% Carbonated, all natural and contains no added sugar, no corn syrup, no preservatives, no phosphates and no mystery ingredients. According to SPINSscan, the health food channel’s premier source for sales data, The Switch is the fastest growing single-serve beverage in the natural channel. For additional information visit