Report highlights students’ soda consumption, possible health risks
September 9, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 9, 2012
King County health officials called for teenagers to consume fewer sodas and other sugary drinks after a report showed 26,000 high school students countywide drink soda daily, and 8,000 students drink two or more sodas daily.
The information comes from a report released Sept. 6 about teenagers’ consumption of sugary drinks.
“One in five youth in King County is overweight or obese. Reducing the amount of sugary drinks our children consume is a key strategy for improving health,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a statement.
The consumption of sugary drinks is linked to risks for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
Nationwide, sugary drinks rank as the largest single source of calories in the U.S. diet and account for almost half of all added sugars consumed by Americans. On average, a 20-ounce bottle of regular soda has more than 16 teaspoons of sugar and 240 calories.
Countywide, two out of three middle and high school students reported drinking sugary drinks — including sodas, sports drinks or other flavored sweetened drinks — at school, according to the report.
Of the youths consuming sugary beverages at school, 43 percent brought them from home, 29 percent bought them at school, 9 percent received them from friend and 20 percent obtained them through another means.
“This report demonstrates that sugary drink overconsumption continues to be a real problem in King County,” Victor Colman, Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition director, said in a statement. “We know that with action at the individual, organizational and communitywide levels we can see real progress and make healthier beverage choices within reach for everyone.”