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Teens should switch to nonsugary drinks

Harold Mandel's picture
Refreshing water

Teens are killing themselves by drinking too many sugary soft drinks which is hurting their health.


Teens have been drinking enough sugary drinks a year to fill up a bathtub according to researchers. This is contributing to serious illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Adults and young kids have been consuming twice the maximum recommended amount of added sugar

Cancer Research UK reports figures from a National Diet and Nutrition Survey highlight the enormously large sugar consumption of teenagers and children in the United Kingdom. Adults and young kids have been consuming twice the maximum recommended amount of added sugar, while 11 to 18 year olds have been eating and drinking three times the recommended amount. Sugary drinks are the primary source of added sugar for teens.

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Consuming too much sugar is clearly associated with obesity. In fact obese kids are approximately five times more likely to grow into adults who are obese. There is an increased risk of cancer and other serious illnesses with obesity. Alison Cox, who is the director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, has commented it's shocking that teens are consuming about a bathtub of sugary drinks every year. Cox says a sugar tax bill in the United Kingdom will help to deal with this serious problem.

Sugary drinks are a primary contributor to the obesity epidemic

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reports that sugary drinks are a primary contributor to the obesity epidemic. It has been observed that people who consume sugary drinks do not feel as full as when they eat the same calories from regular solid food. These people do not compensate for the high caloric content of sugary drinks by eating less food.

In the United States it has been estimated two out of three adults and one out of three kids are overweight or obese. It has been estimated the country spends about $190 billion a year for the treatment of obesity associated health conditions. Increasing consumption of sugary drinks has been a primary contributor to the epidemic of obesity. On any single day about 50 percent of the people in the United States consume sugary drinks.

There are 10.4 billion gallons of sugary soda pop produced by soft drink makers every year. Billions of dollars in marketing campaigns by beverage companies are influencing what teens and others consume. This is creating a disaster with more and more teens and others unhealthy due to consuming too much sugar. It's a good idea to consider focusing on mass public health marketing strategies which encourage teens and others to replace sugary drinks with healthy drinks such as water, sparkling water, and sugarless tea.



America’s beverage companies agree we should all be mindful of the calories we consume from beverages, which is why we are providing more reduced-calorie options and calorie counts to help people make the choice that’s right for them. But it’s important to recognize that beverages are not causing the rise we’ve seen in obesity and obesity-related conditions like diabetes. This is evidenced by the fact that obesity rates continued to rise for years while soda consumption dropped steadily at the same time. Beverage companies are committed to being part of real solutions with initiatives like Balance Calories, which aims to reduce beverage calories in the American diet by 20 percent nationally by 2025 by offering more lower- and no-calorie choices and smaller sizes and then finding ways to get people to try them.