In an effort to fight childhood obesity, the nation's largest beverage companies are getting ready to pull soda from public schools. The deal was announced by the William J. Clinton foundation Wednesday. Companies including Coca-Cola, Pepsico Inc. and The American Beverage Association have all signed on to the deal.
In the agreement, elementary and middle schools would replace all soda with water and sugar-free juices. High schools would do the same but also offer diet soda. Many school health officials in Southern Colorado say they are pleased with the move.
"This is a start for our children," said District 49 Nutrition Services Supervisor Michelle Lang. "It's important for kids to be able to learn to make healthy choices in what they're eating and drinking."
Many public schools have promotion agreements with major beverage companies including District 11, which signed a 10 year, $500,000 a year contract with Coca-Cola which ends next year. District officials say even with the pending change, they won't lose the remainder of their contract. Instead, they say Coke has agreed to furnish its machines with water and juice. However, district officials say they aren't sure if Coke will offer to sign a new contract following the current one. Under the agreement, the transition should be complete in all public schools by the 2009-2010 school year.