[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Deal will slim US school drinks
Overweight family
There is increasing US concern over obesity in all age groups
High-calorie fizzy drinks will no longer be sold in thousands of schools across the US after a deal agreed by the country's top drinks distributors.

The move means only unsweetened juice, water and low-fat milks will be sold in elementary and middle schools, with diet drinks allowed in high schools.

Drinks giants Cadbury Schweppes, Coca Cola and PepsiCo have signed up to the deal, aimed at reducing obesity.

It is expected to affect 87% of the school drinks market.

The deal was brokered by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation - a joint initiative of the William J Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association (AHA) - as part of a healthy schools programme.

It follows growing fears generated by reports of rising childhood obesity, for which fizzy drinks are often partly blamed because of their high calorific content and popularity with children.

I don't think anyone should underestimate the influence this agreement will have
Susan Neely,
American Beverage Association president and CEO

Under the agreement, sugary and calorific drinks will no longer be available in vending machines and cafeterias, or at after-school activities held on school grounds.

The restrictions will also apply to drinks schools buy from the distributors for sales at sporting events and fundraisers.

However, sales at events such as school plays, concerts and sporting events where a significant proportion of the audience were adults would not be affected, a Clinton Foundation spokesman said.

'Major effort'

"I don't think anyone should underestimate the influence this agreement will have," said Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association.

The association represents major manufacturers and distributors of non-alcoholic drinks across the US.

AHA president Robert Eckel said the deal was "really the beginning of a major effort to modify childhood obesity at the level of the school systems".

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation said nearly 35 million students would be affected nationwide. The agreement applies to all public schools which have contracts with the distributors.

Soft drinks weight gain warning
06 Mar 06 |  Health
US people getting fatter, fast
25 Aug 05 |  Health
Q&A: Obesity
17 Mar 06 |  Medical notes

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific