MEDIA ADVISORY: PepsiCo to Remove Full-Sugar Soft Drinks from Schools Worldwide; Yale University’s Kelly Brownell Lauds Progressive Effort

PepsiCo announced today a voluntary policy to stop sales of full-sugar soft drinks to primary and secondary schools worldwide by 2012.

This marks an important development in supporting safe and healthy nutrition for children around the globe and has been commended by Dr. Kelly Brownell, director of Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Dr. Brownell is available to speak to reporters.

“PepsiCo is the first beverage company to take such action and should be applauded for doing so,” said Brownell. “Most historic is the global nature of the promise. The tobacco companies were notorious for counteracting declining sales in the U.S. with exploitation of markets elsewhere, particularly in developing countries. It is important for the world’s health that this not be replicated with food and beverage products.”

Brownell also notes that it will be important to monitor whether the mere presence of beverage companies in schools increases demand for sugared beverages through branding, even if full-sugar beverages themselves are unavailable.

He adds, “This appears to be a good faith effort from a progressive company and I hope other beverage companies follow their lead. It is essential to keep an eye on the final goal - less sugared beverage intake in children overall, not just in schools - though for now, this announcement definitely represents progress.”

According to the PepsiCo press release, the policy applies in all countries outside the United States, and is generally consistent with the company’s existing U.S. policy, which remains unchanged.

Link to the PepsiCo press release: http://www.pepsico.com/PressRelease/PepsiCo-Sets-Industry-Standard-By-Establishing-the-First-Consistent-Global-Appro03162010.html

PRESS CONTACT: Rebecca Oren 203-436-2513, cell 203-285-5961, or rebecca.oren@yale.edu

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