Only healthy beverages in the nation's schools

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 22, 2006

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New guidelines that will allow only low-calorie and nutritious beverages to be sold in most of the nation's schools are expected to go into effect by the beginning of the 2008-09 school year. Only beverages that contain fewer than 100 calories per container, except for milks and juices with nutritional value that warrants the higher caloric content, would be available in the lower grades. High school students would have a broader choice of beverages, including diet sodas and sports drinks.

The healthier beverages are expected to be in 75% of schools within two years and in the rest of the schools by the 2009-10 school year. The guidelines would affect nearly 35 million students.

The nation's schools and school districts must also express a willingness to amend existing contracts with beverage manufacturers before the new menu choices would go into effect.

The guidelines were developed by soft-drink manufacturers and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which is a collaborative effort of the William J. Clinton Foundation, a charitable group founded by the former president, and the American Heart Assn. The agreement is the first to be reached with industry under the Alliance's Healthy Schools Program.

The AMA has also adopted policies aimed at combating childhood obesity that include the availability of healthier foods in schools.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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