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Sunday, May 16, 2021

If you're addicted to caffeine - like so many college students are - you've probably noticed that soft drinks cost more on campus than they did last year. But did you notice that water, fruit drinks, Gatorade and Starbucks beverages' prices stayed the same?

One of the reasons prices of soda went up was to encourage students to drink fewer unhealthy sodas.

OK, we can understand that. It's common knowledge that soda equals bad and water equals good. But a quick glance at nutrition labels led us to believe our health wasn't really that much of a concern. One 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi packs 250 calories and 70 grams of sugar. But that Lipton Brisk Raspberry, which still costs ,1, isn't a much better choice. With 225 calories, 57.5 grams of sugar and Red Dye No. 40, you'd pack on the pounds almost as quickly as with a Pepsi.

So you start to push the Tropicana Lemonade button, thinking "Hey, lemons. That means fruit juice." Well, just barely. This soda alternative serves up 250 calories - same as that Pepsi - and 65 grams of sugar. Tropicana Fruit Punch is even worse than Pepsi. A 20-ounce Gatorade has 125 calories and 35 grams of sugar, but studies have shown sports drinks can cause weight gain if the drinker isn't active.

But we're willing to bet a case of carbonated, caffeinated drinks that students won't opt for non-soda beverages because of the price difference. And those teas and "juice drinks" aren't much healthier than soda.

It seems to us this is just a plan for Pepsi and UF to increase their revenues. Don't tell us you're concerned with us making healthy choices when all you're concerned about are healthy profit margins.

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