Sodas to be expelled from public middle schools

by Keith Nunes
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NEW YORK — The nation’s largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all soda sales to public schools, according to a deal announced Wednesday by the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Under the agreement, the companies have agreed to sell only water, unsweetened juice and low-fat milks to elementary and middle schools, said Jay Carson, a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton. Diet sodas would be sold only to high schools.

Cadbury Schweppes P.L.C., Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and the American Beverage Association have all signed onto the deal, Mr. Carson said, adding that the companies serve "the vast majority of schools." The American Beverage Association represents the majority of school vending bottlers.

This past August, the A.B.A. recommended limiting the availability of soft drinks containing calorie sweeteners in schools across the country, a move that came amid increased pressure to curb the problem of childhood obesity.

Susan Neely, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A., said at the time that parents should have the assurance that their children are not drinking an excessive amount of sweetened drinks at school.

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