Pepsi to Pull High Calorie Drinks from Schools Around the World

PepsiCo (PEP) has decided stop sales of its full-sugar drinks in primary and secondary schools around the world by 2012. These drinks tend to have the highest number of calories per serving. Pepsi said, "The policy applies in all countries outside the United States, and is generally consistent with the company's existing U.S. policy, which remains unchanged." Industry experts estimate that the plan covers about 200 nations.Details of the PepsiCo policy were drawn up following discussions with the World Heart Federation in Geneva. The company's move may appear altruistic, but it's based, to some extent, on government pressure from a number of nations and health organizations.

High calorie soft drinks are viewed as a major cause of obesity and diabetes. Researchers reported on this growing problem recently at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, according toScience Daily. Obesity is considered one the the primary reasons for increasing healthcare costs because of its effects on the heart.

In reaction to the issue of sugar drinks and their related medical costs, the Senate Finance Committee has considered a 3 cent tax on all sugary drinks in order to help support Obama's program to reform the healthcare system.

Pepsi can begin to change its practice of soft drink distribution, especially to the young, or it can be forced to do so by regulation. It looks much better to the public and politicians if it acts on its own.
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