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Beverage Industry Agrees to Halt Soda Sales in Schools

Posted: Monday, May 15, 2006

Bill Clinton, has done what public health experts failed to do. He pulled the plug on public school soda machines.

The former president said last week that the nation's soft-drink makers have agreed to halt sales of soda and other sugared drinks to schools. In their place will be vending machines filled with water, unsweetened juice, and low-fat milk. Vending machines in high schools can still offer diet sodas.

The agreement emerged from a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association, working as the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. It applied to public schools, but its terms are also expected to be extended to private and parochial schools.

Parties to the agreement include Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and the American Beverage Association, a trade group representing the soft-drink industry.

Under the terms of the agreement, the beverage industry will work to meet 75% of the new soft drink standards before the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year and will have the plan fully implemented by the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.

Robert Eckel, M.D., a Denver endocrinologist and president of the American Heart Association, said many school districts have already implemented similar guidelines, but he predicted that today's announcement will provide the needed impetus to other districts that "have not yet been able to improve the nutrition of their schools."

Childhood obesity is now a major public health problem and there is some evidence that sugared drinks play a significant part in the fattening of America. For example, in February the Journal of Pediatrics reported that among girls milk consumption declined by about 25% during adolescence, but consumption of soda increased almost threefold.

 

Source: Diabetes In Control

 
 
 
 
 
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