Pepsi Pledges No Sugary Soft Drinks in Schools World-Wide

It seems to be a battle these days between PepsiCo and Coca-Cola for news headlines …

PepsiCo announced yesterday that it is making a pledge to stop selling full-sugar carbonated soft drinks in schools across the globe. This is the first global approach to school beverage policy that has been announced by a major company.

The Pepsi policy will still allow sale of calorie-free drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices.

Food advocacy/watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) applauded Pepsi for this big move while criticizing Coca-Cola for its policy that allows sales of full-sugar sodas in high schools and at the request of primary school authorities.

The new policy takes effect January 1, 2011. It comes after a big anti-childhood-obesity push this year that has included the announcement of the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign and an American Beverage Assoc. study that found the U.S. has made great strides in reducing high-calorie sodas in schools.

Many speculate that when school lunch and other child nutrition programs are reauthorized by Congress this year, there may be pressure for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to include foods and beverages sold in vending machines and outside of the school lunch program. We’re curious to see if this will be the case.

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