A hard fall for school soft drink sales

Hoard's Dairyman: 

A hard fall for school soft drink sales

Date: 
Fri, 03/12/2010

Rejoice, milk producers. The latest report card for beverage sales at U.S. high schools shows a big fat F for soft drinks.

According to The Wall Street Journal earlier this week, a report to be released Monday by the American Beverage Association will show a stunning decline in the sale of soft drinks in U.S. high schools over the last five years. Most notable is a 95 percent decline in sales of “full-calorie” soft drinks.

The collapse is credited to many factors, including efforts by states and local school districts to limit or eliminate high-calorie sweet beverages from schools’ menus and vending machines, greater social focus on battling childhood obesity, and cooperation from beverage manufacturers.

Milk and other dairy products were not identified in the study. Other major sales declines in the study include:
– a 94 percent decline in imitation fruit juices
– a 77 percent decline in flavored teas
– a 67 percent decline in sports drinks
– a 47 percent decline in diet soft drinks

“We congratulate the beverage industry for working to remove sugary sodas from schools,” said Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest in a March 8 press release. She added, however, that much work remains to be done since full-calorie sodas, sports drinks, imitation fruit drinks, and ice teas still make up one-third of all beverage sales in high schools.

Last July, the American Heart Association said recent research had found that drinking more than one soft drink per day – regular or diet – increased the risk factors associated with both heart disease and new-onset obesity.