Trends in competitive venue beverage availability: Findings from us secondary schools

Competitive beverages include all beverages served or sold in schools outside of federally reimbursable meal programs.1 The Alliance for a Healthier Generation developed a set of criteria known as the School Beverage Guidelines,2 which identify approved beverage types, caloric content, and volume by school level. Approved beverages for all school levels include water, fat-free/low-fat milks, and 100% juices (approved volume and caloric content vary across grades). Additional beverages approved only for high school include no-/low-calorie beverages and drinks with up to 66 calories per 8 ounces. The Alliance guideline approval of drinks with up to 66 calories per 8 ounces currently includes the top sports drinks sold in the United States, which are classified as sugar-sweetened beverages because of added sugars.3 This article (1) uses the Alliance guidelines as a framework to present trends in competitive venue beverage availability in US secondary schools from 2006-2007 to 2010-2011 and (2) examines differences in access between middle and high school students.