The link between childhood obesity and sugary drinks
It’s no secret that childhood obesity is on the rise, and one of the biggest culprits is sugar-sweetened drinks.
In recent years, numerous studies and data have linked obesity in children to sugary drinks.
Consider the following:
- Heavy children and adults are more likely to drink sugary beverages than those of a healthy weight; increased intake in sugar-sweetened drinks results in greater weight gain over time and greater risk of obesity, and reducing the intake of soft drinks in school-age children reduced the incidence of excess weight and obesity, according to Harvard School of Public Health in its review of 30 studies on sugary drinks.
- Increased soda consumption is fueling Californias obesity epidemic (a 12-ounce soda has about 150 calories and 40-50 grams of sugars in high-fructose corn syrup, equal to 10 teaspoons of sugar), say researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. More alarming is the consumption trend among children — 41 percent of young children (2-11 years of age) are drinking at least one soda or sugar-sweetened beverage every day.
- Research shows that children with a energy-dense, low-fiber and high-fat diet have a higher risk for excess body fat during childhood while another study found that sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the diets of children in the U.S.
With growing evidence linking sugary drinks to childhood obesity, nutritionists and other health experts are encouraging parents to reduce their children’s consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. First 5 LA and Best Start, through their recently launched Rethink Your Drink campaign, are reminding parents and families that water is best for children in the fight against childhood obesity.
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