In response to "Wide Availability of High-Calorie Beverages in US Elementary Schools," published today in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine," the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:

"Our industry's successful implementation of national School Beverage Guidelines - and the Keybridge Research analysis validating those efforts - speak for themselves. Under the School Beverage Guidelines, our member companies have removed full-calorie soft drinks from all schools and, in the case of elementary schools, may only offer bottled water, as well as low-fat milk and 100 percent juice in 8 ounce containers. This article is a clear example of creating a sensational headline meant to denigrate the significant advances made by the beverage industry to change the beverage landscape in schools across America.

Importantly, the most recent data looked at by the authors of this article is from the 2008-2009 school year, which fails to reflect beverage availability after full compliance with the guidelines - which was achieved in the 2009-2010 school year. In fact, the greatest strides in achieving compliance were made during the summer of 2009. In addition, our School Beverage Guidelines Final Progress Report only measures bottler shipments to schools, not those beverages purchased by schools from other sources such as vending companies, food service distributors and box stores. Furthermore, as demonstrated in our progress report, our signatory companies are not major providers of the milk and milk products discussed in the study.

We are confident that our School Beverage Guidelines Final Progress Report, which is based on actual product shipments to schools, is reflective of the beverages our member companies make available in schools across the nation. And, as a result of the School Beverage Guidelines, since 2004, there has been an 88 percent reduction in calories from beverages shipped to schools. This is an historic effort that was implemented in good faith as a result of a promise to change the school beverage landscape in our nation's schools - and we delivered on our commitment."

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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.