Soda pop: a strategic retreat -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Soda pop: a strategic retreat -- UPDATE

Posted By on Wed, May 3, 2006 at 6:19 AM

Washington Post has the scoop on an announcement coming today in the person of a couple of men from Hope -- Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee -- that the soft drink industry will announce that it will pull "high-calorie" soft drinks from schools and otherwise voluntarily limit sales of certain types and size of drinks in schools.

There are some questions remaining to be answered because the full agreement has not been revealed. The companies can still sell water and diet drinks and fruit drinks, for example. There will be different rules for different grade levels. Some of the deal calls for limits on size of certain beverages, not their removal. But it's big movement by a powerful industry.

UPDATE: On the jump you can read the governor's news release on the subject. Please note that, while a friend provided it to us, it is NOT on the governor's website as we write this item. So much for the governor's assertion that the things we seek may always be found there.


New York, NY--May 3--Gov. Mike Huckabee today announced a major initiative

to help fight childhood obesity by setting healthy school beverage

guidelines for schools nationwide.  Gov. Huckabee joined former President

Bill Clinton in announcing the new guidelines that would limit portion

sizes and reduce the number of calories available to children during the

school day.

     "This agreement is an important example of the soft drink industry

voluntarily working with others to address one of the  most critical

challenges facing our nation -  childhood obesity," Huckabee said.  " I

commend the parties involved in this agreement and look forward to seeing

its positive impact on the health of our children."

    The Alliance for a Healthier Generation ? a joint initiative of the

William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association ? has

worked with representatives of   Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola,  PepsiCo,

and the American Beverage Association to establish new guidelines.  Under

these guidelines, only lower calorie and nutritious beverages will be sold

to schools for consumption during the school day.  This is the Alliance's

first industry agreement as part of its Healthy Schools Program, and it

affects close to 54 million students across the country.  President Clinton

and Gov. Huckabee are co-chairmen of the Alliance.

    "This is an important announcement and a bold step forward in the

struggle to help America's kids live healthier lives," President Clinton

said. "These industry  leaders recognize that childhood obesity is a

problem and have stepped up to help solve it. I commend them  for being

here today and  for taking this important step. There is a lot of  work to

be done to turn this problem around but this is a big step in the right

direction and it will help improve the diet of millions of students across

the country."

    Under these newly established guidelines, elementary schools will only

sell water, and eight-ounce, calorie- capped servings of certain juices

with no added sweeteners, and servings of fat free and low fat regular and

flavored milks.

    Middle schools will apply the elementary school standard with portion

sizes increased slightly to 10 ounces.   In  addition to the beverages

available in elementary and middle schools, high schools will also sell no

calorie  and low calorie drinks, such as bottled water, diet and

unsweetened teas, diet sodas, fitness water, low calorie sports drinks,

flavored water, and seltzers; as well as light juices and sports drinks.

    At least half of the available beverages in high schools will now be

water, no calorie, and low calorie selections.  Light juices and sports

drinks will be sold in 12 ounce containers with no more than 100 calories

per container, while 100 percent juices and non fat and low fat milks will

also be sold in containers up to 12 ounces.

    This school beverage policy applies to beverages sold on school

grounds during the school day as well as the extended school day when

events are primarily under the control of the school or third parties on

behalf of the school.  The extended school day includes activities such as

intramural sports, clubs, yearbook, band and choir practice, student

government, drama, and childcare/latchkey programs.

    This beverage policy does not apply to school-related events where

parents and other adults are a significant part of an audience or are

selling beverages as boosters during intermission, as well as immediately

before or after the event.  Examples of these events include

interscholastic sporting events, school plays, and band concerts.

    Gov. Huckabee said the goal is to implement the policy in 75 percent

of schools under contract with bottlers prior to the beginning of the

2008-2009 school year.  They hope to have the policy in place at all

schools nationwide by the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.

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