Popular juices and sugar-laden drinks such as Capri-Sun will no longer grace the shelves of Tesco, a major supermarket chain in Britain, as the country battles an epidemic of childhood obesity. The chain will drop several popular sugary drinks Sept. 7, as children return to school from summer vacation, the Daily Mail reported.

The juice pack Capri-Sun and versions of Ribena, Rubicon and Juicee drinks with added sugar were among those to be removed from Tesco’s shelves, the Daily Mail reported, citing the trade magazine the Grocer. David Beardmore, the soft drinks buying manager for Tesco, told the Grocer that the decision was a part of negotiations to reform juice offerings for children.

The drinks would be replaced with juice alternatives that do not have added sugar. An updated media website for Tesco did not appear to include any official releases, statements or information about the decision to remove certain sugar-added drinks from its shelves. The chain has more than 3,500 stores in Britain and more than 7,800 stores worldwide, with sales of nearly 70 billion pounds (roughly $108 billion), according to its website.

In England in 2013, 29 percent of all boys and girls aged 2 to 15 were either overweight or obese. An equal percentage of children the same ages were obese or overweight in Scotland, while 34 percent of children were obese or overweight in Wales in 2012, according to Public Health England, a government website.


Some health advocates praised the move, saying it would help encourage others in the food industry to cut back on selling sugary drinks. But others said it was still not enough. “Tesco's moves for now stay well clear of the fizzy soft drinks category, which many in the health lobby are gunning for -- although Tesco has said this is the start of a broader clampdown across its entire soft drinks lineup,” Adam Leland, editor of the Grocer, said.

On its website, Tesco offered tips to parents for packing a healthy lunchbox for their children’s lunches. For drinks, it suggested, “Add bottled water, milk or 100 percent fruit juices to school lunch boxes. However, fruit juices should be limited to meal times due to their high sugar content. Try diluting fruit juice, two parts water to one part juice, to reduce the sugar content.”