Switch That Sugary Drink for Water

Sugar Drinks

Being overweight has become the most common medical condition of childhood. Complications of being overweight or obese include not just the increased social problems, but the “adult” health problems of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and joint problems.

Sugary drinks have become a “staple” in the daily diet of many children who have a least one can of soda a day. These drinks are the main source of added sugar in the daily diet of children. Each 12-oz serving of soda has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar so provide many non-nutritional calories.

If you switch one can of soda per day to water for your child, the child will have improved glucose and insulin levels. This in turn reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in the child. It would also decrease their risk of obesity and the health issues that come with increased weight.

Replacing milk with soda at meals decreases the child’s intake of calcium which increases their risk of osteoporosis (weak bones). Weaker bones are easier to break.

It is recommended that children be given water, milk, or real fruit/vegetable juices to drink. Buy these rather than sodas. Encourage your children to drink water between meals.



* Fruitades: lemonade, limeade, Gatorade

* Fruit drinks: Hi-C, Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid

* Soda: Coke, Pepsi, 7UP, Mountain Dew

* Energy drinks: Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster

American Academy of Pediatrics
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Sugary Drinks and Childhood Obesity; Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163(4):400; Megan A. Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH