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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 12:31 GMT
Fizzy drink ban in school system
Schools will only be able to sell water, juice or milk drinks
Fizzy drinks are to be banned from sale in one of the biggest school systems in the United States.

The Philadelphia school district, with more than 214,000 pupils, is set to stop the sale of "carbonated sodas" in primary and secondary schools.

The drive to improve children's nutrition will mean that the only drinks allowed to be sold will be fruit juice, water and milk.

The proposals are expected to apply from the beginning of July.


The school district's "beverage policy" is the latest shift in attitude towards young people's diet in the United States - with growing concern about obesity and lack of fitness.

There have already been moves by school authorities in New York to reduce access to fizzy drinks - and Philadelphia's decision will add to the pressure to end the practice of selling fizzy drinks through vending machines on school premises.

Many US schools and school districts receive a regular income from the sale of fizzy drinks - with some authorities having agreements with individual drinks companies.

"Nutrition plays a significant role in preparing our students for learning and this new policy places the health of our students first. Just as unsafe schools hamper learning, unhealthy foods can have the same effect. I believe this policy will go a long way in making a difference," said James Nevels, Chairman of the School Reform Commission.

Under the proposals, the only drinks allowed will be 100% fruit juice, water with no artificial sweeteners or colours, milk and flavoured milk.

So-called "sports drinks" will only be available to older students and will only be on sale near sporting facilities.

The policy is expected to formally approved on Wednesday.

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