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The American Beverage Association (ABA) has funded and released a study saying that there has been “a sharp decline in school purchases of full-calorie carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) from 2002 to 2004. The study also showed that average purchases of full-calorie CSDs at school by American students during school hours were extremely low in 2004” – down by 24 percent during the past two years, while purchases of waters increased by 23 percent, diet soft drinks by 22 percent, 100 percent juices by 15 percent and sports drinks by 70 percent.

The study, according to ABA, concludes “that purchases of full-calorie CSDs during normal school hours averaged about one 12 ounce can per week for high school students. These estimates were conservatively calculated and likely overstate student purchase levels.”

Susan Neely, ABA president/CEO, released a statement: “This study confirms what previous studies have shown - that consumption of full calorie CSDs purchased from school vending machines during normal school hours is a very minor source of calories in the diets of American youth and is not contributing measurably to obesity rates in the school-age population.”

The release of the study comes as there have been numerous reports of a spate of lawsuits expected to be filed against soft drink companies, using tobacco litigation as a model in holding the companies responsible for the nation’s obesity crisis.
KC's View:
Forget about whether or not soft drink companies have any culpability in the obesity crisis.

We’re confused about whether this study is about all soft drink consumption, or just vending machine soft drink consumption in schools. Because they’re not necessarily the same thing.

We also think that maybe the ABA is stretching credibility with this “conservatively calculated and likely overstate student purchase levels” stuff.

But the best reaction was that of the Content Kids (a 16-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl) when we told them of this study’s results.

They snorted.