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Coke Pulled From Schools

Coke and its peers to stop selling sodas in public schools

A Coke and a sugar rush between classes will soon be a thing of the past for students in American public schools.

The Coca-Cola Co. and other beverage makers will no longer sell high-sugar sodas in most American public schools by the end of the decade under an agreement between the beverage makers, The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Beverage Association.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation -- a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association -- has worked with Atlanta-based Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), Pepsico (NYSE: PEP), Cadbury Schweppes and the American Beverage Association to establish new guidelines to limit portion sizes and reduce the number of calories available to children during the school day. Under the new guidelines, only lower calorie and nutritious beverages will be sold to schools, the alliance said.

The guidelines will cap the number of calories available in beverages in schools at 100 calories per container, except for certain milks and juices with nutritional value warranting the higher number of calories.

Elementary schools will only sell water, and 8 oz., calorie-capped servings of certain juices with no added sweeteners and servings of fat free and low-fat regular and flavored milks. Middle schools will apply the elementary school standard with portion sizes increased slightly to 10 oz. High schools will also sell no calorie and low-calorie drinks, such as bottled water, diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, fitness water, low calorie sports drinks, flavored water, and seltzers; as well as light juices and sports drinks.

The beverage industry will work to spread the standards to 75 percent of the nation's schools prior to the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year. The industry will try to fully implement the guidelines prior to the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, provided schools and school districts are willing to amend existing contracts.

"Our broad product portfolio offers great taste, refreshment, hydration and nutrition, and we're pleased to use that portfolio to join the alliance in helping to reduce calories and increase nutrition in our schools," said Donald R. Knauss, president of Coca-Cola North America. "By combining our product offerings with the nutrition and physical education programs we support, we can help put schools at the forefront of the efforts to create a healthier generation."

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