A recent study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has
suggested that school soft drink bans do little to curb sugar-sweetened
beverage (SSB) consumption among adolescents. Daniel Taber, et al., “Banning
All Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Middle Schools,” Archives of Pediatrics and
Adolescent Medicine, November 2011. Researchers in 2004 and 2007 surveyed
approximately 7,000 fifth and eighth graders from public schools in 40 states,
concluding that “SSB consumption was not associated with state policy.” In
middle schools with no SSB policy and those that prohibited only soda sales,
close to 30 percent of the students reported purchasing SSBs, including
energy or fruit drinks, on campus. Moreover, the study found that state policies
banning all SSBs in middle schools “appear to reduce in-school access and
purchasing of SSBs but do not reduce overall consumption.”

“We found that banning only sodas does nothing to stop kids from buying
sugary drinks at school,” said one author with the University of Illinois (UIC) at
Chicago’s Bridging the Gap program. “Only when sales of all sugar-sweetened
beverages—sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks—were prohibited, did we
see fewer students buying such drinks at school.”

According to a November 7, 2011, UIC press release, the study authors also
noted that additional strategies—“such as sugar-sweetened beverage taxes
and regulations of food marketing aimed at children”—were needed to
curtail SSB consumption outside school. “This study tells us that it will take
comprehensive beverage policies to create a healthier school environment
and decrease the amount of sugary beverages students purchase at school,”
another author was quoted as saying. “At the same time, it underscores the
importance of policies that extend beyond schools to discourage consumption
of sugary beverages—and encourage children to purchase and drink
healthy beverages, like water, low-fat milk and 100% juice.” See The New York
Times Well Blog, November 7, 2011.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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