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Beverage Industry Fighting Childhood Obesity by Helping Children Balance Calories
Date:5/12/2009

Cutting calories in schools reinforces skills for a lifetime; discriminatory taxes just raise revenue

WASHINGTON, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Childhood obesity is a serious issue that requires comprehensive and thoughtful solutions, but discriminatory taxes on soft drinks and other beverages are the wrong public policy for such a complex problem, said Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association.

As Washington leaders begin discussing ways to improve health care in America, the beverage industry believes they need to focus on solutions that work when it comes to reducing childhood obesity. Solutions like the successful national School Beverage Guidelines, which cut calories in schools and help reinforce with children the importance of balancing calories.

"Together as a society, we need to focus on the hard work of teaching our children how to balance calories consumed with calories burned and, by doing so, give them the skills to maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives," Neely said today. "A tax won't teach children these skills or have a lasting, meaningful impact on reducing childhood obesity."

In May 2006, the beverage industry developed national School Beverage Guidelines with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association. The industry committed to changing the beverage mix in schools across America by removing full-calorie soft drinks, as well as capping calories and reducing portion sizes on other beverages and providing nutritious beverage options by the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.

The beverage companies not only committed to a tough policy, but they are delivering results and exceeding their goals.

At the start of the current school year, nearly 80 percent of America's schools under contract were in compliance with th
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SOURCE American Beverage Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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