WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Beverage Association (ABA) today commends President Barack Obama for signing into law the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act," a bill that will provide necessary funding to federal child nutrition programs.

"Our industry applauds President Obama and Members of Congress for ensuring that this significant piece of legislation advanced and was signed into law this year," Susan K. Neely, ABA president and CEO, said. "Moving forward, as part of the federal regulations, we urge USDA to consider and adopt our national School Beverage Guidelines as they are a standard that is already in place and working."

The beverage industry has a longstanding commitment to the health and wellness of our nation's children. We have already delivered on our commitment to change the beverage landscape in schools with our national School Beverage Guidelines, which removed full-calorie soft drinks and replaced them with more lower-calorie, nutritious, smaller-portion beverage options. With the guidelines, our companies have slashed beverage calories shipped to schools by a dramatic 88 percent since 2004. These guidelines are having a meaningful impact on our nation's schoolchildren. Under the voluntary guidelines, 100 percent juice, low-fat milk and bottled water are allowed in elementary and middle schools, with the addition of diet beverages and calorie-capped sports drinks, flavored waters and teas in high schools.

"We are proud to have worked alongside Members of Congress, as well as a broad coalition of public health and education groups and others in the food and beverage industry, to see this bill pass," Neely said.

For more information about the School Beverage Guidelines, please visit www.ameribev.org.

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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.