The promotion of snack foods and sugary drinks in U.S. schools is contributing to the growing obesity rate among children and teenagers, according to the Institute of Medicine. Some schools, however, contend that these marketing deals are an essential part of their operating budgets. The soft drink industry maintains that banning sales in schools will not thwart obesity; "We need to teach people how to make their own choices, and you don't teach people things just by restricting them," a beverage industry representative said.

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