They may look like harmless pop machines nestled in school lunchrooms but a public forum in Iowa City later this week will debate whether they’re really a health hazard for children.The forum is scheduled to begin at noon on Friday at the U-of-I Dental Science Building. It’s free and open to anyone.The public forum will be moderated by Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, dentistry resident at the University of Iowa. He says there’s evidence kids who have easy access to sugar-laden sodas at school learn bad habits.In addition to rotting their teeth, Dr. Shenkin says students are becoming more obese and developing more adult forms of diseases like diabetes. Shenkin says drinking those extra calories can lead to a problem with obesity which is “making more headway in terms of long-term health effects than tobacco.”Panelists at the forum will include: a state legislator, area school officials, and a variety of U-of-I health and dentistry experts.
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