Recognizing that they are a part of the obesity problem in the United States, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co, and Dr.Pepper Snapple Group have come to an agreement with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to pledge to cut calories consumed by beverages by 20% by the year 2025. Their plan is to create smaller portion sizes, as well as promote water and non-calorie options more effectively. Due to a cap on sugary drink portions now in effect in New York, a soda ban in schools, and a possible tax on these soft drinks in San Francisco in the near future, this may be their attempt to stay appealing to customers. Since the peak of soda sales in 1998, the amount of calories consumed by Americans from sugary drinks has decreased by 23 percent due to an increased concern with our health. As the general population has become more conscious of disease states such as diabetes, they have started to opt for healthier options, including water and beverages that do not contain aspartame. Still, experts agree that more needs to be done in order to decrease obesity rates.
How do you feel about more aggressive government-instituted restrictions on these products? How comfortable would you be with instituting potential penalties on these companies if they cannot fulfill their promise by 2025?
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PepsiCo has announced that they will no longer be adding brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to its Gatorade drinks. This begs the question, what is BVO? It is a man-made chemical that forms when vegetable oil is bonded to the element bromine. When citrus flavors that are oily by nature are placed into water-based solutions (such as soft drinks) they float to the top, but bromine is heavy and stops oil from floating. BVO allows the drink to be more uniform. High levels of BVO over long-period of time can be toxic to the body. What beverages do you generally recommend to stay hydrated?