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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