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Recent study shows that sugary drinks are linked to childhood obesity

Posted on Oct 05, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

A new study has finally been able to show a definite link to sugary drinks and childhood obesity.

I don't think many of us our surprised by this. It seems like common sense that soda (sugary drinks) is not a healthy choice for kids and we know it is is high in sugar. Most 12 oz. cans of sodas have 10-13 teaspoons of sugar and no nutrients. A 20 ounce drink sold at most fast food restaurants has 17 teaspoons of sugar!

But for policies and lawmakers to be able to make sweeping changes, they need proof. So we have finally have it.

Researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) discovered a strong correlation between soda consumption and weight. Their data is based on 40,000 participants.

Research showed that over the last 30 years Americans consumed 278 more calories per day. One of the biggest changes in diet during that period was the enormous increase in soda consumption, accounting for as much as 43 percent of all new calories!

But I think what was more alarming was the amount of sugary drinks kids are drinking.

  • 41 percent of young children (2-11 years of age) are drinking at least one soda or sugar-sweetened beverage every day
  • Adolescents (12-17) represent the biggest consumers, with 62 percent (over 2 million youths) drinking one or more sodas every day – the equivalent of consuming 39 pounds of sugar each year in soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
Sometimes, as parents we are so busy with our daily busy lives, that we are not seeing the habits that kids are forming before our very eyes. We may not have realized that our kids were actually drinking this amount of sugary drinks throughout the week, or even worse, daily!activity_kids_exercise_healthy

So this study is a wake up call for everyone, not just the lawmakers who are debating on how to try to control the advertising and exposure of kids to sugary drinks. Lawmakers will debate and who knows how long before they pass something that may or may not help reduce sugary drink consumption.

But this is a wake call to us parents. Parents, we have the most immediate control over what our child takes in.

To change your habits it starts with the family working together. As a family, you can discuss how much soda or sugary drinks are being drank by the family.activity-tracking-healthy-kids

Remember it can be hard at first to change habits. so start with small steps. If your child drinks sugary drinks every day, then move to every other day or three times a week.

  • Set family goals.
  • Work together to decrease the intake and substitute it with water and milk.
  • Be a role model. Kids are watching and action speaks louder than words.
  • Don't nag, keep it positive.
  • Celebrate success.
Each small change will add up to a healthier child, a healthier family.

Use our family goal and tracking sheet to help set your child in the right direction while keep it positive and fun.




Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009 @ 12:08 AM

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I am totally agree with your post. Researchers say adding the calories from a single soda a day to the typical U.S. diet could mean a weight gain of 15 pounds over a year.
Monday, Oct 19, 2009 @ 09:02 PM

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All of this is extremely alarming. I didn't realize! Something else that I don't think parents take into consideration that activity is also an important part in a child's daily routine. I am not sure if you have ever heard of Dr. John E. Mayer, but he has recently come out with a great book titled, <a href="" rel="nofollow"> "Family Fit" </a> that helps families work together to break bad habits (eating poorly) and to become more active. I think this is a book that every parent in America should read. Full of great family fun activities and wonderful nutritional advice.

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