School kids are buying fewer sugar-filled soft drinks these days.
Threatened with lawsuits over rising childhood obesity, beverage companies proudly say things are turning around. Figures being released yesterday by the American Beverage Association show school sales of regular sodas dropped by nearly a-quarter between 2002 and 2004.
Bottlers report that during the same two-year period, sales of diet drinks and bottled water were up by more than 20 percent, fruit-juice was up by 15-percent, and sales of sports drinks soared 70-percent.
Even so, regular soda is still the most popular drink, accounting for nearly half of all beverages sold in schools.
And NYU nutrition professor Marion Nestle is not impressed by the figures. She says many of the sports drinks that youngsters are choosing an alternative are also loaded with sugar.
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