It was today in 1969 that "Sesame Street," a popular children's television show that emphasizes education, first debuted.  We at Sip & Savor have fond memories of the show – watching and practicing our spelling and arithmetic, and in some cases, sharing the experience with our children.  But what we also think of on an anniversary like this is the importance of childhood nutrition education – something our member companies take very seriously.

In fact, in an effort to improve nutritional standards for children in schools across America, our industry has worked with distinguished Members of Congress on this issue as it relates to beverages in school vending machines.  In addition, we've already delivered on our commitment to change the school beverage landscape with our national School Beverage Guidelines, which removed full-calorie soft drinks and replaced them with more lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverage options.  Under the guidelines, our member companies have slashed beverage calories shipped to schools by a dramatic 88 percent since 2004!

Our member companies' commitment to help educate consumers doesn’t stop with schools.  With our Clear on Calories initiative, America's leading beverage companies have come together through a voluntary commitment to make the calories in their products even more clear and consumer-friendly by putting calorie information at consumers' fingertips at every point of purchase, including containers, company-controlled vending machines and fountain machines.  And, importantly, our member companies are producing fewer total beverage calories for the marketplace through the innovation of more no- and low-calorie beverages. In fact, from 1998 to2008, industry cut the total beverage calories it brought to market by 21 percent.

As an industry leader, we’re helping people make the decisions that are right for them.  And from "Sesame Street" to towns and cities across the country, we have taken voluntary steps that will have a meaningful impact in communities everywhere.