Think about this:

The American Beverage Association this week received a couple inquiries, via letter and phone, from middle-schoolers asking for our support in lowering the drinking age from 21 to 19 or 18. (Obviously, these young ladies didn't realize ABA represents the non-alcoholic beverage industry.)

Now this idea may have its pros to go with some strong cons, as even many university presidents are pushing for lowering the drinking age as a means to reduce underage drinking, as well as binge drinking, at universities. Frankly, that's not our issue to debate here.

What is striking, however, is that a 7th-grader... a perhaps so concerned that the drinking age is too high at 21 that she felt compelled to write a term paper making the arguments for lowering the drinking age. And that she is actively working to garner support for this shift.

One must admire her moxy, but one must also be concerned that this young lady (and another middle-schooler who called ABA) is so occupied with the current drinking age she's actively working to lower it.

There are those in our society - scientists, academics, activists and people who claim to be consumer advocates - who spend nearly every waking moment of their careers demonizing soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages. And one result is that our teenagers don't know what to drink anymore. The know-it-all adults are taking away all options that have any hint of taste or any hint of refreshment or any hint of fun.

So if every beverage except milk and tap water is evil - as these activists would lead you to believe - what's left for a teenager to drink, especially in a social setting? Even in the Leave it to Beaver world, it wasn't milk.

Just some perspective on the damaging effects of taking a cause way too far, going beyond the world of common sense that most people live in.

Soft drinks are a refreshing beverage meant to be enjoyed. Nothing more, nothing less. And as millions of Americans prove every day, you can be a healthy person and enjoy a soft drink.