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Ditching sodas cuts childhood obesity

Obesity is a growing problem in children. According to the World Health Organization an estimated 17.6 million children younger than five years old are overweight. Ditching and cutting down on carbonated drinks could help to prevent childhood obesity and can limit children’s obesity rates.

Ditching sodas cuts childhood obesity

Obesity is a growing problem in children. According to the World Health Organization an estimated 17.6 million children younger than five years old are overweight. Ditching and cutting down on carbonated drinks could help to prevent childhood obesity and can limit children's obesity rates. Rather than targeting multiple areas such as food, drink and exercise to prevent childhood obesity, Researchers decided to focus on the major culprit of childhood obesity - carbonated drinks. Fizzy drinks contain large amounts of sugar that are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. If the child doesn't use it up it gets stored as fat. If children could be persuaded to reduce their consumption of fizzy drinks it would help prevent them becoming overweight. Researchers at the Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Center in southern England conducted a study involving 650 schoolchildren, ages 7 to 11, the researchers made half the youngsters cut their consumption of fizzy drinks by half a glass a day, about 250 ml. The other half, a control group, drank about 0.2 glasses more a day in addition to their average of about two glasses every three days. By the end of the school year the percentage of overweight and obese children in the control group rose by 7.6 percent but fell 0.2 percent in the children who cut fizzy drinks. Children who are overweight tend to carry the excess weight into adulthood and face an increased risk of suffering from diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. It doesn't take a major starvation diet to prevent people getting overweight or obese. Instead of consuming carbonated drinks, the children should be encouraged to drink diluted fruit juices or water. This study supports the fact that maybe it is time to remove these drinks away from schools and perhaps persuade celebrities to stop endorsing them and move to promote something that is useful for the children, namely drinking water.
British Medical Journal,
April 2004
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