Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cola expelled from US Schools

In a attempt to control and prevent the metabolic syndrome, the Alliance for a healthier generation (a joint initiative between thw William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Asociation), in collaboration with Cadbury Schweppes, Coca Cola, Pepsico, and the American Beverages Association, has created a new guidelines to restrict beverages sold in schools to nutritious food products only.

We all know that each bottle of Coca Cola, contain up to the equivalent of 6-8 spoonful of sugar. Imagine the amount of calories we are imbibing with each bottle of Coca Cola. If we happen to spill any of these drinks while drinking, we all know how sweet and sticky it is. The amount of sugar is obvious. We all know that adolescent obesity is a key factor in the incidence of metabolic syndrome in adults. Under this collaboration initiative, 75% of American schools by 2008-2009, and all schools by 2009-2010, will be covered by these new guidelines. Obviously, the schools who have standing contracts will phase in only when their contracts with the beverages company expire.

What a great acheivement, to have beverage companies be so civic minded, helping in a campaign to control and prevent a disease responsible for many cardiovascular deaths and morbidities. I wonder if the any of the big companies in Malaysia will be civic minded enough to lobby for such a collaboration here. The two biggest manufacturers of sweet beverages in Malaysia are probably F&N Coca Cola and Permanis. That the name Permanis literally means sweetener is already a startling admission of the facts. We are very concerned that our adolescents are becoming more obese and I am sure that fast food and sweet beverages are largely to blame. We have previously highlighted the growing trend of diabetes in the younger generation in UK, and that they have 3 times the likelihood of dying, when compared to the normal population.

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