Happy Throwback Thursday! Almost exactly seven years ago – on March 8th- we released our final School Beverage Guidelines progress report. This voluntary initiative removed full-calorie sodas shipped to schools and replaced them with more lower-calorie and smaller-portion choices.

At the time of the announcement, the independent firm Keybridge Research, LLC found that there had been an 88 percent reduction in beverage calories shipped to schools. Later, data found that we slashed even more beverage calories - more than 90 percent!

This voluntary step by beverage companies later helped form the basis of the beverage component of USDA’s regulations for foods and beverages sold in schools. Today, when you walk into a school, you will still see our commitment at work.

Since the School Beverage Guidelines, our industry has taken on more initiatives to help Americans achieve balance. In fact, we’re working on our biggest initiative to-date -- Balance Calories. Together, our companies are driving a reduction in the sugar and calories consumed from beverages across America -- engaging with prominent public health and community organizations in this effort. This includes doing the hard work of changing behavior in communities with some of the highest obesity rates in the country, such as the Mississippi Delta and rural Alabama. We’re providing the new beverage options, information and encouragement to help people cut back on calories and sugar.

Find out more about Balance Calories, and the rest of the work our industry is doing, at BalanceUS.org.