Statement in Response to American Journal of Public Health Report “Beverage industry self-regulation helps reduce distribution of high-caloric, sugary beverages to U.S. schoolchildren”
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is proud that our landmark agreement with the American Beverage Association (ABA) has contributed to a 90 percent reduction in calories from beverages shipped to schools between the 2004-2010 school years, according to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH).
As part of the Alliance’s agreement with the American Beverage Association , the vast majority of full-calorie soft drinks have been removed and the beverages available to students through school vending machines and cafeteria a la carte lines are now nutritious, age appropriately portioned, and no or low calorie.
In 2010, the American Beverage Association released the Alliance School Beverage Guidelines Final Progress Report prepared by Keybridge Research, LLC, which has served as the third party evaluator for the beverage agreement. The report revealed an 88 percent reduction in calories from beverages shipped to schools. This report covered the period of 2004 through the first half of the 2009-10 school year. The most recent report, now published by the American Journal of Public Health, includes school beverage data from the entire 2009-10 school year.
The Alliance has been working in schools to transform campuses into healthier places for more than six years and has authored countless case studies documenting the adoption of the Alliance School Beverage, Snack, and School Meal guidelines as well as procurement changes. As seen in our more than 14,000 schools across the country working toward a healthier school environment, we know that improving school beverage, snack, and school meal standards can positively impact student health and lead to better behavior and academic performance.
We support the American Beverage Association’s efforts to offer students healthier options and we strongly encourage schools that have adopted these changes to continue their efforts. The Healthy Schools Program is available to assist schools make their campuses healthier places. Schools can log on to www.HealthierGeneration.org to join the movement.
Ginny Ehrlich CEO Alliance for a Healthier Generation