Michael Pascoe writes:

Coca-Cola and friends continue to fight a
nutrition rear-guard action in Australia,
helped by Tony Abbott, but their US parent
companies have effectively admitted their main products are not good for
children.

In a land where “soda” seems to be drunk as
much as water, the big three pushers – Coke, Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes – have
agreed to end sales of their sugar drinks to public schools. CNNMoney reports that a lobby group led by Bill Clinton made the announcement, with (dare I say it)
plenty of sugary spin by the ex-pres:

“This is an important
announcement and a bold step forward in the struggle to help America’s kids live healthier lives,”
former President Clinton said in a statement. “These industry leaders
recognise that childhood obesity is a problem and have stepped up to solve
it.” The deal was made between
the beverage companies, the association and Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint
venture of the William J Clinton Foundation and the American Heart
Association.

Yeah, right. Turns out school vending
machines account for only one per cent of total soft drink volume. Meanwhile fat kiddies
can always waddle into any number of US fast food joints and
restaurants and enjoy endless free refills of their preferred soda.

Somehow I can’t see Coke, Pepsi or Schweppes making more than a
token gesture when it comes to surrendering market share. Nonetheless, agreeing
to not supply schools could be taken as an admission that the stuff is a
problem. Try getting the local branch offices to admit as much.

Peter Fray

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