Soda tax won’t curb obesity, study contends

Aug. 9, 2013, HealthDay

Taxing sodas and other sugary beverages won’t help reduce obesity because consumers would switch to other high-calorie foods and drinks that aren’t taxed, a new study contends.

The researchers came to their conclusion after analyzing data on household food purchases made by Americans in 2006. The findings were published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

“Instituting a sugary-beverage tax may be an appealing public-policy option to curb obesity, but it’s not as easy to use taxes to curb obesity as it is with smoking,” study lead author Chen Zhen, a research economist at RTI International, said in a journal news release. Continue reading

Soda size limits could aid fight against obesity, experts say

June 12, 2013, U.S. News & World Report

Restricting the sale of large sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages in restaurants and other food service outlets would affect 7.5 percent of Americans each day and have the greatest impact on overweight people, according to a new study.

In an effort to fight obesity, New York City’s Board of Health approved a ban on the sale of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces at eateries, but the law was struck down by the New York Supreme Court in March. An appeal began this week.

In order to assess the effect that such a ban would have nationwide, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed the records of more than 19,000 people who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007-2010. Continue reading

Sugar is sugar: Fruit juice just as bad as soda for kids

May 31, 2013, Everyday Health

By Amir Khan

Doctors and public health officials have long called for parents to eschew soda, but what you replace it with is just as important. While kids are drinking less soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, many minority kids are switching to 100 percent fruit juice – which can be just as bad for you as soda according to a new study published yesterday in the journal Academic Pediatrics.

But while African-American and Latino children have increased their consumption of 100 percent juice, the same isn’t seen in Caucasian children, according to the study. Continue reading

Sugary drink consumption down among U.S. kids

May 29, 2013, Chicago Tribune

By Kathryn Doyle

More evidence that Americans are heeding calls to cut back on sugary drinks appears in a report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2010, U.S. children got an average of 68 fewer calories per day from sugary drinks than in 2000, according to the analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Both children and adults are drinking less sugar at meals and at snack time, the study also found.

The results are consistent with previous studies showing a decline in consumption of sugar generally, and soda specifically, between 1999 and 2008, said lead author Dr. Brian Kit of CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics in Rockville, Md. Continue reading

If you offer it, they will drink it

May 16, 2013, dailyRx

It’s no secret that drinking too much Coke or Gatorade can add inches to kids’ waistlines. But where they get those drinks might make a difference in how much they drink them.

A recent study found that children were much more likely to drink more sugar-sweetened beverages if they got them at school or at home.

Kids were three times more likely to drink five or more sugary drinks each week if they had access to the drinks at school.

The researchers concluded that limiting access to sugary drinks might be one component in preventing obesity.

The study, led by Lana Hebden, a research officer at the School for Public Health at the University of Sydney in Australia, looked at how many sugar-sweetened beverages school students drank. Continue reading

Black students drink more soda when available at school

May 15, 2013, Medical Xpress

By Valerie Debenedette

The availability of sugar-sweetened or diet soda in schools does not appear to be related to students’ overall consumption, except for African-American students, who drink more soda when it’s available at school, finds a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

These findings are from a study of more than 9,000 students in grades eight, 10, and 12 done in 2010 and 2011. The students were asked how much soda they drank per day and school administrators were asked about the availability of soda in their schools.

The finding that reducing the availability of soda in school is not linked to reducing overall intake among students has been observed before, said Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath, M.S.A., survey research associate at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. This may be because young people consume only 7 percent to 15 percent of the calories they take in from sugar-sweetened drinks at school, she noted.

However, finding that African-American students are consuming more soda when it is available at school was surprising, Terry-McElrath added. This may be due to less availability of soda at home or because these students are more likely to buy soda at school if it is available there, she said.

Removing soft drinks from the school environment is a good idea, Terry-McElrath said. “Schools [are] either part of the problem or part of the solution and removing all sugar-sweetened beverages supports a healthy learning environment and development of healthy habits.” “Our analyses looked just at soda and not all sugar-sweetened beverages,” Terry-McElrath said. “We know from research that the availability of soda in schools is now quite low. However, other sugary beverages, such as sports drinks or fruit drinks with added sugar, are still in schools.”

The availability of sodas and other sweet beverages in schools varies widely across the country. For example, soda has not been allowed to be sold during the school day in New York schools since the 1980s, said Deborah Beauvais, R.D., district supervisor of school nutrition for the Gates Chili and East Rochester School Districts in New York.

“Restricting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in schools has all the best intentions, but one must also take into account what happens outside the school day and the beverages consumed then,” Beauvais added. “If children have the means and the availability, they will consume these beverages outside of the school environment.”

 

If soda study is favorable, look for industry $$$

May 14, 2013, MedPage Today

By Kathleen Struck

A review of published studies investigating a possible link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity found that studies funded by the beverage industry were likely to find little evidence that sodas and juices fuel obesity.

Among 17 reviews analyzed, four industry-funded studies concluded that the causal relationship between sugary drinks and body weight was weak versus 13 independent studies that concluded the link between sweetened beverages and obesity was well founded. Continue reading

One sugar-sweetened soda a day boosts diabetes risk

April 25, 2013, TIME

By Alexandra Sifferlin

All it takes is one can of soda to increase risk of type 2 diabetes by 22 percent, according to a new study.

In the study published in Diabetologia, researchers studied diet and drinking habits of about 28,500 people from Britain, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, and the Netherlands over a period of 15 years.

Those who consumed a 12-ounce serving of a sugared-beverage on average daily — about the size of a soda can — had a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to people who drank a can once a month or less. Continue reading

Sweet drinks tied to higher calorie consumption in kids

March 12, 2013, HealthDay

Children who drink sugar-sweetened beverages consume more calories than other children and the beverages are the main reason for that higher calorie intake, a new study reveals.

In addition, children who drink sugar-sweetened beverages eat more unhealthy foods than other children, the researchers found.

Evidence shows that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages — which include sodas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks — has risen in the past 20 years.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 11,000 U.S. children, aged 2 to 18, who were included in national surveys between 2003 and 2010. During this time, children’s consumption of food and sugar-sweetened beverages increased, while they drank fewer non-sweetened beverages. Continue reading

New federal rules aim to make school snacks more healthful, limit junk food sales on campus

Feb. 02, 2013, The Washington Post

Goodbye candy bars and sugary cookies. Hello baked chips and diet sodas.

The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful, a change that would ban the sale of almost all candy, high-calorie sports drinks, and greasy foods on campus.

Under new rules the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed Feb. 2, school vending machines would start selling water, lower-calorie sports drinks, diet sodas, and baked chips instead. Lunchrooms that now sell fatty “a la carte” items like mozzarella sticks and nachos would have to switch to healthier pizzas, low-fat hamburgers, fruit cups, and yogurt. Continue reading