With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, Sip & Savor wants to remind its readers to thank their moms for everything they do, especially the little things. We know many moms have exhausting schedules - between juggling careers and parenting. So there can be little time left to make sure kids are getting the nutrition education and physical activity that they need to develop healthy habits.
That's why we applaud former President Clinton and Alliance for a Healthier Generation Champion Rachael Ray for celebrating Mother's Day on today's episode of "The Rachael Ray Show" by recognizing "moms across America who make sure their kids eat right and move more," according to The Alliance Byte, the Alliance's e-newsletter. On the show, the former president and Rachael Ray spoke with two guest moms, North Carolina's Tonya Mitchell Peele and Nebraska's Mindee Myers, who worked with the Alliance through its Healthy Schools Program to make changes happen in their schools - which, in turn, impacted their local communities.
The beverage industry recognizes that, in a fast-moving world filled with activities, it can be quite a challenge to make sure your kids are eating a variety of foods in moderation and getting enough exercise. But we also recognize that schools are unique environments that can help give our kids the necessary tools to do just that. That is why America's beverage companies are doing their part to help parents and educators.
In 2006, the American Beverage Association and member companies The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo teamed with the Alliance, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association (AHA), to develop national School Beverage Guidelines. These guidelines provide kids with more lower-calorie, nutritious, smaller-portion beverage choices in schools.
After just two years of a three-year implementation, we're delivering on our commitment to parents and communities. In fact, nearly 80 percent of schools under contract with bottlers are in compliance; shipments of full-calorie soft drinks are down by 65 percent; and calories from all beverages shipped to schools have been slashed by 58 percent.
To announce these results, President Clinton and AHA President Dr. Tim Gardner held a news conference last September. President Clinton acknowledged industry's efforts, stating:
"There are 53 million students who are going to be better off because of the work that the beverage association has done... These results show that the commitment made by the beverage industry has been surpassed and the beneficial consequences to our schools are far greater than what was estimated two years ago. And they deserve a lot of credit for that. They did better than they said they'd do, and the results they delivered surpass where we thought we'd be. And that is profoundly important. There was no legislation here. This was a purely voluntary concerted effort on the part of this industry working with us to reach this agreement and then implement it. And I am profoundly grateful to them and to the schools across the country that embrace the idea."
But we're not done yet. Our work continues. We stand committed to the promise we made to parents and schools across the country. And we applaud the nation's moms - and dads, too - that have worked with their local schools and school districts to learn about the guidelines and work with their bottlers to make them a reality in their communities.
Happy Mother's Day!