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Taking Soda Out Of School

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

When I was a kid, the PTA used to raise money in our school from time to time by selling hot dogs and Pepsi at lunch time. You'd sign up weeks in advance, and for a quarter you'd get this exotic lunch. The PTA pocketed the profits, and everyone was happy.

A lot has changed since then.

Soda companies moved their marketing and products right into the schools. The schools made money. The soda companies made money. Now everyone was really happy.

That's why the news announced Wednesday by the Clinton Foundation that soda companies would stop selling their sugar-filled products in schools is such a big deal.

A new survey out this week says there are 2.5 million American teenagers who are pre-diabetic. That means unless they change the way they eat and exercise, they could eventually lose limbs and go blind.

The American Beverage Association should be commended for doing the right thing.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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