WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's non-alcoholic beverage industry applauds First Lady Michelle Obama's common-sense efforts to strengthen school wellness policies, including support for aligning food and beverage signage in schools to reflect what is allowed under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations.
"Mrs. Obama's efforts to continue to strengthen school wellness make sense for the well-being of our schoolchildren," said ABA President and CEO Susan Neely. "Our industry helped lead the way with our voluntary national School Beverage Guidelines, which removed full-calorie soft drinks, cut beverage calories in schools nationwide by 90 percent, and set the stage for the USDA's regulations that take effect in schools this July. Now, we look forward to working with the USDA on their proposed rule to align food and beverage signage in schools with the new regulations as the next logical next step."
The beverage industry – whose leading companies include The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo – has long been committed to the health and wellness of Americans. These efforts are having a real and lasting impact:
- School Beverage Guidelines: America's beverage companies successfully implemented voluntary national School Beverage Guidelines, removing full-calorie soft drinks from all schools and replacing them with more lower-calorie, smaller-portion options. Developed with the William J. Clinton Foundation and its Alliance for a Healthier Generation, these guidelines helped form the basis for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's interim final rule on competitive foods and beverages sold in schools.
- Clear on Calories: In 2010, in support of the First Lady's launch of her "Let's Move!" campaign, America's beverage companies announced the Clear on Calories initiative – a voluntary commitment to place easy-to-use calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack they produce. By placing total calories on the front of all bottles and cans up to and including 20 ounces, consumers know exactly how many calories are in the beverage before making a purchase. For packaging larger than 20 ounces, the labels provide calories per serving. The calorie labels put this information right at the fingertips of consumers so they can make a choice that's right for them.
- Drink Up: In 2013, America's beverage companies teamed up with the First Lady and the Partnership for a Healthier America in supporting "Drink Up" Building upon previous industry initiatives, companies supported this effort by placing the water drop logo on bottled water, company trucks, on their websites or in their advertisements.
To learn more about all the ways that our industry is innovating and supporting all of its consumers, visit DeliveringChoices.org.
The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States. For more information on ABA, please visit the association's Web site at www.ameribev.org or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.
SOURCE American Beverage Association