Statement on PepsiCo Announcement to Reduce Added Sugars in its Beverages by William Dietz, Obesity, Nutrition, Physical Activity Expert


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WASHINGTON, DC (October 17, 2016)—Today, PepsiCo, Inc. announced it will reformulate at least two-thirds of beverages sold globally so they have fewer than 100 calories from added sugars per 12-ounce serving.

In response, the following statement was released by William Dietz, MD, PhD, Chair and Director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:

I’m encouraged by PepsiCo’s announcement. It comes on the heels of the FDA’s announcement earlier this year that nutrition facts labels on foods and beverages will soon list the amount of added sugars. Sugar drinks are the top source of added sugars in the American diet, and we know that these drinks contribute to the development of obesity. PepsiCo’s plan to reduce added sugars to less than 100 calories per 12 oz. in the majority of its sugar drinks worldwide is a highly significant step to reducing the intake of added sugars. Because PepsiCo distributes their products globally – and they are widely consumed – this reformulation is likely to have an impact on sugar intake and obesity. Therefore, I support their effort and strongly encourage other manufacturers of sugar drinks to follow suit. I hope this is just the latest development in a growing trend toward changing the social norms around sugar drinks – by decreasing their sugar content, but also with continued efforts to decrease their consumption.

Dr. William Dietz is available for interviews. Please contact Sarah Baldauf, sbaldauf@gwu.edu.

About the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness: Established in 2014 and located within Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, the Redstone Center identifies effective nutrition, physical activity, and communication strategies that improve the prevention and management of obesity and other related chronic diseases. The Redstone Center is committed to reducing health inequities in the District of Columbia and beyond to promote health and improve lives. Learn more at our website.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University: Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,900 students from 54 U.S. states and territories and more than 50 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.

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