Breaking bad

The phrase ‘to break bad’ in American Southwest slang means to challenge conventions, to defy authority and to skirt the edges of the law. The same phrase has assumed new connotations as a result of the hugely popular AMC series now entering its final season.

When I was a young child I used cola based soda drinks for some ‘bad’ things.

I used them to make “spiders” – a scary metaphor for an innocent mix of ice cream & cola flavored pop (1).

I also made “missiles” by mixing coke and mentos to create a relatively powerful “rocket fuel”.

And I also found that the same drink to be a strong cleaning product, especially for polishing the old pennies in my coin collection.

By challenging the conventional belief that the soda pop was useful only as a refreshing drink, that is was ‘good’ for us and an appropriate emblem and logo for our lifestyles, was I in fact ‘breaking bad’ back then?

Recently 2 separate emails disturbed me. The first email was a link to a slide show illustrating some alarming facts about what soda drinks do to our bodies and to our environment. The presentation included 9 good reasons why we should not drink soda based drinks. Indeed many health magazines and websites now illustrate the bad effects of consuming soda drinks – beverages that are really nothing more than sugar water and that are clearly linked to obesity and diabetes.

The second email was equally disturbing. A newspaper article highlighted a new health report that found that children are more likely to have a can of a sugary drink a day rather than eat five portions of fruit and vegetables, and that the vast majority of kids have less than an hour’s exercise (2).

I think it’s time to break bad again – to defy this ‘new’ convention or practice and find ways to take action and build awareness in our learning communities to the bad effects of soda drinks. Any ideas……?

(1) aka ‘floats’ in North America.

(2) 85% of girls and 73% of boys say they do not do even an hour’s physical activity a day – the recommended minimum.

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