Washington Post has the scoop on an announcement coming today in the person of a couple of men from Hope -- Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee -- that the soft drink industry will announce that it will pull "high-calorie" soft drinks from schools and otherwise voluntarily limit sales of certain types and size of drinks in schools.
There are some questions remaining to be answered because the full agreement has not been revealed. The companies can still sell water and diet drinks and fruit drinks, for example. There will be different rules for different grade levels. Some of the deal calls for limits on size of certain beverages, not their removal. But it's big movement by a powerful industry.
UPDATE: On the jump you can read the governor's news release on the subject. Please note that, while a friend provided it to us, it is NOT on the governor's website as we write this item. So much for the governor's assertion that the things we seek may always be found there.
New York, NY--May 3--Gov. Mike Huckabee today announced a major initiative
to help fight childhood obesity by setting healthy school beverage
guidelines for schools nationwide. Gov. Huckabee joined former President
Bill Clinton in announcing the new guidelines that would limit portion
sizes and reduce the number of calories available to children during the
"This agreement is an important example of the soft drink industry
voluntarily working with others to address one of the most critical
challenges facing our nation - childhood obesity," Huckabee said. " I
commend the parties involved in this agreement and look forward to seeing
its positive impact on the health of our children."
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation ? a joint initiative of the
William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association ? has
worked with representatives of Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo,
and the American Beverage Association to establish new guidelines. Under
these guidelines, only lower calorie and nutritious beverages will be sold
to schools for consumption during the school day. This is the Alliance's
first industry agreement as part of its Healthy Schools Program, and it
affects close to 54 million students across the country. President Clinton
and Gov. Huckabee are co-chairmen of the Alliance.
"This is an important announcement and a bold step forward in the
struggle to help America's kids live healthier lives," President Clinton
said. "These industry leaders recognize that childhood obesity is a
problem and have stepped up to help solve it. I commend them for being
here today and for taking this important step. There is a lot of work to
be done to turn this problem around but this is a big step in the right
direction and it will help improve the diet of millions of students across
Under these newly established guidelines, elementary schools will only
sell water, and eight-ounce, calorie- capped servings of certain juices
with no added sweeteners, and servings of fat free and low fat regular and
Middle schools will apply the elementary school standard with portion
sizes increased slightly to 10 ounces. In addition to the beverages
available in elementary and middle schools, high schools will also sell no
calorie and low calorie drinks, such as bottled water, diet and
unsweetened teas, diet sodas, fitness water, low calorie sports drinks,
flavored water, and seltzers; as well as light juices and sports drinks.
At least half of the available beverages in high schools will now be
water, no calorie, and low calorie selections. Light juices and sports
drinks will be sold in 12 ounce containers with no more than 100 calories
per container, while 100 percent juices and non fat and low fat milks will
also be sold in containers up to 12 ounces.
This school beverage policy applies to beverages sold on school
grounds during the school day as well as the extended school day when
events are primarily under the control of the school or third parties on
behalf of the school. The extended school day includes activities such as
intramural sports, clubs, yearbook, band and choir practice, student
government, drama, and childcare/latchkey programs.
This beverage policy does not apply to school-related events where
parents and other adults are a significant part of an audience or are
selling beverages as boosters during intermission, as well as immediately
before or after the event. Examples of these events include
interscholastic sporting events, school plays, and band concerts.
Gov. Huckabee said the goal is to implement the policy in 75 percent
of schools under contract with bottlers prior to the beginning of the
2008-2009 school year. They hope to have the policy in place at all
schools nationwide by the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.