American Beverage Association

Sip & Savor - Recent Posts

Let’s Clear It Up: HFCS

Have you visited LetsClearItUp.org yet?  It is a great resource for dispelling rumors and myths about our products.  For instance, you might have heard that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a common liquid sweetener made from corn, puts people at higher risk for becoming obese or causing diabetes.  However, the science shows that this simply is not the case. Check out this quick myth vs. fact from the website:

MYTH: High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) causes obesity and diabetes.

FACT: Actually, the American Medical Association has concluded that HFCS is not a unique contributor to either obesity or type 2 diabetes. In fact, HFCS is so similar to sucrose (table sugar) that your body can’t tell the difference between the two, and processes both in the same way.

For more information on HFCS and other ingredients you may find in our member companies’ myriad beverage options, check out LetsClearItUp.org.


The Truth About Aspartame

We have said it before and will say it again; the overwhelming body of scientific evidence does not support claims that consuming aspartame in food and beverages causes cancer.

Organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the British Food Standards Agency, the European Union Scientific Committee on Food, the World Health Organization (WHO) and regulatory agencies in more than 100 countries have declared the ingredient as safe.  The American Medical Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) and the American Diabetes Association also recognize aspartame as safe for use.

Aspartame has been tested continuously since its introduction and its safety has been consistently re-affirmed. A study conducted by government researchers at the National Cancer Institute involved more than 500,000 people, including those who drank the equivalent of three or more diet soft drinks every day for almost a decade. It found that there was no increased risk of any type of cancer even among those who consumed the most aspartame. In fact, since aspartame was first introduced, no scientific evidence has been found linking it to any disease in humans.

Still have questions about the rumors surrounding aspartame and other low- and no-calorie sweeteners?  Check out LetsClearItUp.org for more information.


Clearing Up Confusion About Caramel Coloring

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about food ingredients.  One example of this is 4-MEI – which is formed as a byproduct in some foods and beverages during the normal cooking process.  4-MEI can be found in very small amounts in caramel coloring, which is an ingredient that has been widely used in the food supply for decades — including in soy sauce, molasses, coffee, colas, desserts, dark beer, wine and many other foods.  4-MEI forms when coffee beans are roasted and when meats are grilled.  Leading regulatory agencies and public health organizations around the world have repeatedly confirmed its safety, including: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Health Canada.

For more information on this and other topics, visit LetsClearItUp.org.


Fact Or Fiction: BVO

David Ogilvy – also known as “The Father of Advertising” – once said that “on the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”  And for this reason alone headlines are generally sensational and not always based in fact.

For example, you may have heard, seen or read some media coverage of the ingredient brominated vegetable oil, or BVO for short.  Some have reported that it is a flame retardant (so is water!), and unsafe for use in foods and beverages.  Well, we wanted to make sure that our readers got the facts:

  • BVO is an emulsifier which is used in some fruit-flavored beverages to improve the stability of the beverage by preventing some ingredients from separating.
  • Readers can rest assured that our products are safe and our industry adheres to all government regulations.

Let’s face it; sensational journalism oftentimes forgoes the facts in favor of catchy headlines.  So be sure to check back with us for updates on this and other topics.  And for more information on our products and their ingredients, check out LetsClearItUp.org.


Choices, Now More Than Ever

Our member companies are making it easier for consumers and their families to choose a beverage that is right for them by delivering more choices, smaller portions, fewer calories and clear calorie labels. Our member companies have broadened their portfolios with a wide variety of types, portions and calorie ranges to meet the individual needs of and preferences of consumers, and provided them with the tools they need to make informed choices when it comes to what they are drinking.

So the next time you walk down the beverage aisle, or pop into the corner store – take a look at all of the options available to you, and make a decision that’s right for you.  After all, we’re helping by putting the calorie information right up front.  And don’t forget to get out there and get active, too.  After all, it’s all about balance.


Working Together On Real Solutions

Our member companies are committed to the health and wellness of Americans, and are hard at work ensuring that consumers of their wide range of beverages have the tools they need to make the choices that are right for them.  Today we thought we would highlight our support of an initiative called “Drink Up,” which is a partnership between First Lady Michelle Obama, the Partnership for a Healthier America and many more public and private sector organizations.  Together we are encouraging Americans to stay hydrated by drinking more water.  This is another example of industry leadership, and how we can achieve great things when we all work together.


Important Information At Your Fingertips

Have you noticed that it is now easier than ever before to figure out exactly how many calories are in your favorite beverage?  Thanks to our  industry’s Clear on Calories initiative, America’s beverage companies have placed calorie labels on the front of every can, bottle and pack they produce.  By placing calorie information right up front, we’re ensuring consumers get the information they need in an easy-to-read and understandable way.  We led the way on clear calorie labeling to help empower consumers to choose the beverage that is right for them.  This is yet another way we are stepping up to be part of the solution to obesity.

For more information on this and other industry initiatives, check out DeliveringChoices.org.


Making A Difference In Schools Nationwide

Our industry made a promise to parents that we would change the beverage landscape in schools across the country. And we delivered our School Beverage Guidelines, which removed full-calorie sodas from schools and replaced them with a range of lower-calorie and smaller-portion choices. Working with our school partners in communities across the country, the successful implementation of these guidelines several years ago has led to significant results.

Our member companies, in partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, dramatically cut calories available from beverages in schools by 90 percent from 2004 to 2012!

We recognize that schools are unique places.  And we delivered change that will have a meaningful and lasting impact for America’s schoolchildren for generations to come.

To learn more about our School Beverage Guidelines, please visit DeliveringChoices.org.


Empowering Consumers

Our industry is all about empowering consumers by providing them with options and information.  With our Calories CountBeverage Vending Program, we are providing clear calorie information on vending machines, encouraging lower-calorie beverage choices and reminding consumers that “calories count” in all the choices they make.

This program – launched in municipal buildings in the cities of Chicago and San Antonio in 2012 and then in municipal buildings in Washington, D.C. last year –can be seen on beverage vending machines across the country and continues to be available to customers nationwide. It’s just another way that we are helping to educate consumers about our member companies’ many refreshing beverages and empowering them to make the choice that’s best for them and their families.


Enjoy A Low- Or No-Calorie Beverage This Weekend

With just a few weekends of summer remaining, many people are seizing their last chances to soak up the sun at the beach or barbeque with friends.  We hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather, and that you’ll cool off with one of our member companies’ many beverage options.  And don’t worry, there are plenty of low- and no-calorie choices available for those who are counting their calories!

Visit DeliveringChoices.org to see the beverage options our member companies offer and enjoy one this weekend!