Connecticut Cuts 'Ade at Schools

Gatorade and Powerade, as well as soda and other sports drinks, will be banned from Connecticut schools after a "feverish" double-team by Coca-Cola and Pepsi failed to stop the state's House of Representatives from passing "the strongest school nutrition law in the nation." A flier distributed by Coke's PR reps, Sullivan & LeShane, attacked the bill, urging, "It is counterproductive to tell an 18-year-old who can drive a car, fly a plane, enlist in the military...and get an abortion that they can't have a soft drink." But on May 3, 2006, Coke lowered its red flag, announcing with other beverage companies a nationwide voluntary ban on school day soft drinks, to be phased in by 2010. (The "ban," which goes farther than earlier voluntary measures, would still allow the sale of sports drinks, as well as all sodas after school hours.) While strong on soft drinks, Connecticut's new law does not regulate snack foods. Instead, the state has created a voluntary incentive for schools to stock healthier snacks. Federal legislation is pending to require healthier school snack foods nationally.