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Beverage Companies Agree to Remove Sugary Soft Drink

Some of the country's biggest beverage companies have agreed to stop selling sugary soft drinks and other high calorie beverages in schools.

The agreement was worked out by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in conjunction with the American Beverage Association, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes.

According the School Nutrition Association (SNA), the guidelines may accelerate the shift to lower-calorie and nutritious beverages that children consume during the regular and extended school day.

"While the announcement does not affect many school nutrition and foodservice programs, as they currently do not sell soda, SNA supports this policy direction," says Erik Peterson, executive director of the School Nutrition Association. "It contributes towards the efforts of our members in promoting a healthy school environment."

"In the current climate with reauthorization, districts are forced to face the issue of childhood obesity," says Barry Sackin, a senior food and nutrition executive with public and private sector experience. "In order for these voluntary guidelines to have an impact, contracts will have to be rewritten between districts and local bottlers.

"The announcement—in additions to similar announcements that have preceded it in past years—sheds ever more light, and media focus, on the issue, " he adds. "Let's hope decision makers see the writing on the wall."

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