News Releases & Statements
American Beverage Association Statement on California Legislation Imposing Restrictions On Beverages Sold in High Schools
In response to the California Assembly’s decision today to pass SB 965, legislation that will impose restrictions on beverages sold to high school students on school grounds from 30 minutes before school until 30 minutes after school, Susan K. Neely, president of American Beverage Association(ABA) said:
“While well-intentioned, the California Assembly’s passage today of SB 965 is unfortunate. Unlike younger children who may need the guidance of an adult to help them make choices, parents tell us they believe high school-aged children have the ability to make informed choices, and should have a wider range of beverage choices available to them. This legislation, however, removes that ability by restricting beverages sold in high schools, including low-calorie juices and diet soft drinks.
ABA’s school vending policy recommends no more than 50 percent of the total vending machine selections in a given high school would be devoted to soft drinks. The remaining selections would include bottled water, 100 percent juice, juice drinks, sports drinks, and other beverages. In a recent nationwide poll of 800 adults, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of the American Beverage Association, 77 percent of those surveyed favored these recommended high school guidelines.
SB 965 is an ineffective means of addressing obesity, a complex problem with many causes, including lack of exercise, consuming excessive calories, lifestyle, genetics, and other factors. Singling out any one food or beverage defies science and common sense.
The beverage industry recognizes that obesity is a serious problem, but it is most effectively addressed by teaching children to live a balanced lifestyle, consuming a variety of foods and beverages in moderation, and exercising every day. Our industry is committed helping address childhood obesity and is working hard to be part of the solution. But, we strongly believe that high school students should be able to make beverage choices from an array of options.”
The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.