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Soft Drinks May Not be Leaving Your Child's School Any Time Soon

In May 2006, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes signed a voluntary agreement to remove high-calorie drinks from schools by 2009.

But many school districts may not be able to afford the switch due to contracts they signed with bottlers for the companies.

Portland, OR would have to pay the local Coca-Cola bottling company $600,000 to remove sports drinks and diet sodas from school vending machines. Racine, WI would need to pay the local Pepsi bottler $200,000.

Almost 75 percent of high schools, 65 percent of middle schools, and 30 percent of elementary schools have agreements with bottling companies. These contracts, which can last up to a decade, grant the bottlers the exclusive right to market a company's brands in the school in exchange for a large upfront payment, followed by yearly payments. There are penalties if a school fails to meet sales targets.

Washington Post March 22, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Last year, I ran a story about the beverage industry's three-year plan to remove soft drinks from public schools in America.

Well guess what -- they lied. Big surprise.

They tell you what you want to hear but then conveniently don't come through on their promises and commitments. Instead, they bank on the fact that most people have very short memories.

Whenever you're dealing with big business, however, it's always wise to watch out for all the "hidden" loopholes.

The evidence could not be more crystal clear that soft drinks have been a primary contributing factor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics we're experiencing. Most people are clueless to the fact that ONE IN THREE Americans have diabetes or prediabetes!

Stopping soda, especially in childhood, is quite simply one of the most important steps you can take to avoid and/or treat diabetes. There is simply NO reason ANYONE should ever be consuming soda -- nada, neyt, NO reason at all. There is no excuse folks; you and your kids simply need to stop the soda.

Your best and safest bet, as parents and role models, is to take matters into your own hands. You may not be able to control what is sold in their schools, but you can certainly instill good health habits in them while they are at home, especially if you lead by example.

Here are things you can do today to make your child's transition to better health an easier one:

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