No more Coke and Pepsi for young school children in the United States.
Amidst concerns over growing obesity among children in the country, American American Beverage Association (ABA), a trade body, has said its members will only stock bottled water and 100 per cent juice in vending machines in elementary schools.
Extending cooperation to the the anti-obesity drive, the Association said it will provide 'only nutritious and/or lower calorie beverages in middle schools.'
"No full-calorie soft drinks and no full-calorie juice drinks with 5 per cent fruit juice or less will be on sale during school hours," it said.
In high schools it will be more liberal and will provide a variety of beverage choices. However, even there members of the association will supply "no more than 50 per cent soft drinks."
"Our new school vending policy: It's all about variety, nutrition and lower-calorie beverages," the Association said.
Reports said Coca-Coal Company, PepsiCo and Cadbury Schwepps have agreed to extend their ban on soft drinks sales to US middle schools.
The companies will halt sales of full-calorie carbonated drinks during school days under voluntary guidelines announced by ABA, they said.
According to studies, over the last three decades the rate of obesity in the US has more than doubled in preschoolers and adolescents and more than tripled in children in the age group of six-11 years. The most common factors cited by researchers were too much screen time -- television, computers and video games -- with too much of junk food.