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Drink Deal Cuts Sugar in U.S. Schools

By Joe Gullo     Mar 9, 2010 in Health
Efforts to stop the growing childhood obesity epidemic, a school drink deal plans to cut sugar. Deals like this all across the country are pushing for healthier drinks in our school systems.
The deal will allow 100 percent juice drinks, low-fat milk and bottled water in elementary and middle schools. At the high school level, diet beverages and calorie-capped sports drinks, flavored waters and teas will be available for students.
Places like New York state are pushing for a soda tax to combat the obesity issue and budget issues. New York City, California and Philadelphia are also considering similar measures to combat the problem.
Reuters reports that, many health experts agree that non-diet soft drinks are a key source of excess calories in the U.S. diet and likely helping to fuel the obesity epidemic. Two-thirds of Americans, including one in three children, are overweight or obese.
"There's been a dramatic shift toward lower calorie and more nutritious beverages in schools," Clinton said in a news conference, Reuters reports. "It could lay the foundation for broader changes in our society."
Many health experts agree and support taxes on soft drinks.
Health experts at the U.S. Institute of Medicine suggest that local governments should zone to limit junk food near schools.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director and the American Heart Association supports taxes soft drinks.
"Children drink and eat an estimated 35 percent to 50 percent of their daily calories during school hours," Reuters reports the foundation's chief executive Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said. "Given the central role school plays in our children's lives, we must strive to make every school in the country a healthy school."
Clinton says, "An initiative by The American Beverage Association --including The Coca-Cola Co, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo -- the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association has helped cut shipments of full-sugar soft drinks to schools by 95 percent compared with 2004."
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