Soda Companies Pull Out of Elementary Schools; CSPI Says Policy Should Cover All Schools, Urges Government to Act

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan

August 17, 2005

Today’s announcement that the member companies of the American Beverage Association will voluntarily pull soda out of elementary schools is an encouraging step from an industry that, up to now, has thwarted angry parents who want to get soda out of their kids’ schools. The soda industry has aggressively, and shamefully, taken advantage of the precarious financial position of many public school systems. And, frankly, too many school administrators have been willing to close budget gaps at the expense of their students’ health.

Given that poor diet and obesity are problems among teens, soda also has no place in America’s high schools and middle schools, which are much bigger markets for soda companies than elementary schools.

I think the soda industry sees the handwriting on the wall. The industry surely hopes this voluntary half-step will forestall efforts to get soda out of all schools. But we hope that Congress, states, and school systems act to ensure that schools sell only healthful drinks and snacks to all children.


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