If you've seen our latest School Beverage Guidelines print and TV ads, then you know that our industry has gone the distance to change the beverage landscape in schools.  And you know that our member companies have voluntarily removed full-calorie soft drinks and replaced them with lower-calorie, nutritious and smaller-portion beverage options - reducing beverage calories in schools by a staggering 88 percent.  But what beverages are replacing the soft drinks to account for such a dramatic decrease in calories?   A good question; let us give you the run-down.

In elementary schools, the guidelines allow for bottled water, as well as milk and 100 percent juice up to 8 ounces.  In middle schools, the beverage mix is the same, except the serving size for milk and 100 percent juice is increased from 8 ounces to 10 ounces.  In high schools, the serving sizes for the milk and 100 percent juices increases to 12 ounces.  And other mid-calorie beverages that are no more than 66 calories per 8 ounces and are capped at 12 ounces total (examples include certain sports drinks, flavored waters, and teas) are available.  In addition, diet drinks are permitted.

In addition to the removal of full-calorie soft drinks from all schools, the shift towards more lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverages is also contributing to the overall reduction in calories available from beverages in schools.

So, now you have some more detail about the commitment that our member companies delivered to schools and communities across the country.  No industry has done more than the beverage industry to help change the school beverage environment.  This is truly a unique, groundbreaking effort by any industry aimed at strengthening our schools.

To learn more about our School Beverage Guidelines, please visit our Web site.

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