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American beverage companies pledge to reduce sugar content

Three of the main soft drink makers in the US have claimed that they will reduce calorie consumption in the American market by 20%, before the year 2025.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., PepsiCo Inc., and Coca-Cola Company have pledged to make the changes as part of national efforts to tackle the obesity crisis, as well as to slow down the incidence of heart disease and diabetes. The producers will be offering alternatives to full-sugar drinks, including smaller portion sizes and water, in addition to raising awareness of how much sugar is in a normal sugar version. Some lower calorie variants may also be introduced.

The programme will be gradually rolled out, with the use of drink dispensers, coolers, and vending machines all owned by the companies. The first cities to see any changes will be Los Angeles in California and Little Rock in Arkansas.

The pledge was made at the Clinton Global Initiative, held in New York. Other American Beverage Association members also made the pledge. Bill Clinton, the former US president, told the New York Times that the agreement was huge news. He added that he understood why people drank large amounts of soda, as it is cheap, although he confessed to now preferring water or iced tea.

In the UK, a number of initiatives have already been introduced, including more exercise and free school meals. The introduction of school tuckshops in Merseyside has helped to encourage children to choose healthy alternatives at break time.

Posted by Mark
October 2, 2014

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