As you may have heard this morning, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) announced a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, asking the agency to regulate the amount of caloric sweeteners in beverages.

As we noted in our statement to the media today: Everyone has a role to play in reducing obesity levels – a fact that is completely ignored by this petition. That is why the beverage industry has worked to increase options and information for consumers.  In fact, today about 45 percent of all non-alcoholic beverages purchased have zero calories and the overall average number of calories per beverage serving is down 23 percent since 1998.

Additionally, according to government data from the Centers for Disease Control, Americans are consuming 37 percent fewer calories from sugar in soft drinks and other sweetened beverages than in 2000.  We ask: how can soft drinks be the leading contributor to obesity if calories consumed from soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are down while at the same time obesity rates continue to rise?

Our member companies continue to work toward meaningful solutions to the complex problem of obesity. Our voluntary removal of full-calorie soft drinks from schools and front-of-pack calorie labeling initiative are shining examples of how we’re helping consumers make informed choices for themselves.

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