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Pepsi to pull sugar-sweetened drinks from schools worldwide

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Anti-obesity campaigns scored a direct hit today when PepsiCo said it would pull its sugary drinks from schools around the world. PepsiCo, No. 2 worldwide to the Coca-Cola Co., set a 2012 date for removal of all of its full-calorie, sweetened drinks from schools in more than 200 countries by 2012.

PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and others in the industry have already swapped lower-calorie options into schools to replace sugary drinks, under voluntary guidelines adopted in 2006. Sales of full-calorie soft drinks fell 95 percent in U.S. schools between fall 2004 and fall 2009, the American Beverage Association reported last week.

Coke this month said it no longer would sell its other sweetened drinks in grade schools unless parents or school officials asked it to. But Coke didn't extend that change to secondary schools, and today after the Pepsi move Coke said it thought school officials "should have the right to choose what is best for their schools."

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