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Former President Bill Clinton Leads Fight Against Fat
Former President Bill Clinton, the former chubster, has used his leadership, influence and charm to create a coalition that will attack the growing epidemic of obesity in children. 

Through The Clinton Foundation, the penitent junk-food junkieClinton Soda.jpg brokered an agreement between, The American Heart Association and the US’s three largest beverage producers The Coca-Cola Company(KO), PepsiCo, Inc.(PEP), Cadbury Schweppes plc (CBRY) to eliminate high-calorie, sugary drinks in schools. The American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation joined together to form the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation" in an effort to fight childhood obesity and the serious diseases associated with it such as heart disease and diabetes.

Over the next four years, the beverage manufactures have vowed to replace their high-calorie drinks with bottled water, unsweetened fruit juices, low-fat milk and sugar-free sodas. That is not a lightening-speed implementation. Most of these products are sold in vending machines and serve approximately 35 million school-age children.soda.story.jpg

Some facts that led Clinton to use his energy, influence and resources to cut the sugar stream in schools:

  • 17% of kids are obese with an additional 15% at risk
  • Two 12-ounce cans of soda a day (average for kids age 15-19) yields an equivalent of a 1.5 lb. bag of sugar a week
  • There are 240 calories in a 20-oz. bottle of Coke and virtually no vitamins or nutrients
  • Soda is the favored drink among kids age 6 to 14 and accounts for 24% of drinks in the 11 to 14 age group
  • An estimated 9 million schoolchildren ages 6-19 nationwide are overweight, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clinton, who survived quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, may be the best suited to lead this charge and focus the public on this issue. He says, "These industry leaders recognize that childhood obesity is a problem and have stepped up to help solve it." His pressure and the potential for litigation probably helped. This proposal, may not be an immediate solution but it is clearly a step in the right direction.

Not everybody appreciated this solution and called it a PR stunt by the beverage companies after momentum from grassroots efforts began to take hold.

Read more on this story at Time and on another similar initiative at MarketingBlurb.

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