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Beverage Titans Team Up to Remove Soda From Schools

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group have just done the unthinkable. They've banded together in print and television ads to promote their new campaign to remove full-calorie soft drinks from nationwide schools. The joint initiative, spearheaded by the American Beverage Association (ABA) and called Clear on Calories, hopes to tackle childhood obesity with actions such as placing calories on the front of packages, vending machines, and fountain machines.

Thus far, the campaign has involved removing full-calorie sodas, and replacing them with portion-sized options like juice, tea, and water. So far, Clear on Calories has led to an 88 percent decrease in calories from beverages shipped to schools in 2004 — and the goal is to have all full-calorie soft drinks completely removed by 2012.

Through the campaign, the beverage industry hopes to fend off potentially costly legislation, such as taxes on sweetened beverages. "The 'clear on calories' initiative will have far more impact in addressing childhood obesity than a tax ever will," Kevin Keane, an executive at the ABA, told Ad Age. Can the top soft drink giants harness their market influence to effect a healthy change, or should the government step in to take action?


kathrynliz kathrynliz 7 years
do what? so, the government should regulate whether I can afford soda so that maybe I'll lose weight? that's a great idea. how many people are employed by the soda companies, I wonder. Between the shippers, bottlers, manufacturers, marketing, corporate offices, I mean. In three of the largest companies in the country. Absolutely. Bring on the taxes and make people buy less product. And let's also make it more expensive for third parties like restaurants and hotels to buy and sell. Definitely. Great idea. Because some kids are fat.
suziryder suziryder 7 years
Yeah, doesn't diet soda increase your appetite? I don't see this as being done in the interest of kids' health. I see it more like a PR stunt to try to convince America that we don't need a tax on soda, so that the electorate will be against the tax and maybe congress won't initiate it. The soda companies are saying a tax won't be effective in cutting obesity, but I think they're afraid that it will make people less likely to buy their product. (And if less people buy their product, then less people will get fat from it!) Yes, getting soda out of schools is a good idea (but I think it should be ALL soda, not just full calorie soda), but what about at home? The kids can still guzzle soda every day at home if it's so cheap. But if a tax makes soda expensive enough to be a treat instead of an every day, multiple times a day sort of thing, then I believe it will have an impact on obesity. People don't even consider the calories they drink, but they still count - and it adds up quickly. Sure, a tax on soda won't help in all areas of the American diet, but it's a step to getting Americans to really think about their food choices and to consider whether it's really worth it.
alf9280 alf9280 7 years
Doesn't that just mean that they can still put their zero calorie and diet stuff, which contains ingredients like aspartame, in schools? I'd be happier if they said that they were pulling all of their soda products from schools.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
i think its awesome that these companies are even INTERESTED in removing this stuff from schools. i say we give them a shot and see what happens!
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