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Pepsi Drops Sugary Drinks from Schools

Maybe the Mayans were onto something with the whole end-of-the-world thing in 2012 after all. Pepsi just announced this week that they plan on pulling all of their fully-sweetened drinks from schools in the U.S., and in more than 200 countries total, by 2012.

In its fight against childhood obesity, The World Heart Federation has been negotiating in recent months with soft drink makers to get them to remove sugary beverages from schools.

Coca-Cola, the number one soft drink maker in the world, has also made some positive moves. This month they changed their global sales policy to not sell any of their drinks in primary schools around the world, unless parents or school districts ask. However, this policy does not apply to secondary schools.

Pepsi will now only sell water, fat-free or low-fat milk, and juice with no added sugar in primary schools. In secondary schools they will sell those same products, plus Diet Pepsi and other low-calorie soft drinks.

With the soft drink industry replacing sugary drinks with lower-calorie drinks in schools, sales of full-calorie soft drinks fell 95 percent in U.S. schools between fall 2004 and fall 2009, according to the American Beverage Association. This is only a gut reaction, with no cold hard facts to back it, but I find those numbers hard to swallow, especially since it’s coming from an association that represents the soft drink industry. But, I digress.

Pekka Puska, president of The World Heart Federation, says that this is just the first step in fighting childhood obesity. Kids need to also exercise more and eat healthier foods.

(via: ABC News)

March 18th, 2010

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