In New York yesterday 9/23/14 at the 10th Annual Clinton Global Initiative, a deal was made with the FDA through a partnership between the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and the American Beverage Association pledging to decrease the calories in soda by 20% by the year 2025. Perhaps Americans are way ahead as sales of non-diet soda have fallen by 15% since 1998 and, more recently, sales of diet soft drinks also have begun to decline.
“For some people who live with limited incomes and limited mobility, calories from drinks can make up to 50% of the daily intake”, Clinton told the NY Daily News.
Clinton is right, as so many kids and young adults of the special needs population are addicted to soda. Parents are finding it difficult to change their diets as they can sometimes be very restrictive in their eating patterns, taking ‘picky eater’ to a whole new level.
As stated in the NY Times, “This is huge,” former President Bill Clinton said in a telephone interview. “I’ve heard it could mean a couple of pounds of weight lost each year in some cases.”
Various advocacy groups across America began efforts as early as 2003 and it seems their efforts have paid off. Most school districts are now ‘banning’ soda products, even if a child brings their own. In 2006 the American Beverage Association and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation partnered to reduce beverage calories in schools.
That means no Coca-Cola or Pepsi or even Dr. Pepper and Snapple can be consumed by anyone, including the school principal. Some have complained about this as an infringement on their freedom, but districts aren’t budging. It’s proving to parents that if you stay on course with changing your child’s diet by limiting their choices and limiting sugary drinks such as soda, you can be successful.
We’ll use the most critical levers we have at our disposal, and the focus really will be on transforming the beverage landscape in the U.S. over the next 10 years,” said Susan Neely, chief executive of the American Beverage Association, the industry trade group.
“Consumption trends are moving in this direction already, so they might be promising something that will happen no matter what they do,” says Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. “These companies are under fire, and promises without substance will not help.”
Parents all over America are happily starting to see the results in their children. However, will selling smaller sizes help? Soda producing companies in America are pushing to meet the trend as more and more kids are choosing sport drinks and ‘healthy’ drinks. Some, such as Vitamin Water, which was bought by Coca-Cola who sees profits before it sees ‘health’ benefits in order to meet the rising trend.
Clinton joked about his struggles with weight loss over the years, “Those of us who’ve been on yo-yo diets over the years up and down, which I can tell includes people besides me, this is really important,” he said. “This strategy can sustainably lower the aggregate weight of the country in a way that will dramatically improve health outcomes.”, he told the NY Daily News.
Sources: Yahoo Financial, Reuters, NY Times, NY Daily News, Getty Images