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Sodas and Obesity

Posted on: 3rd Nov, 2016

obesity rates in the last couple of years. The trend among Americans to reduce soda consumption has its roots to a large degree in the desire to improve and maintain health, and reduce obesity. But some of the reduction may simply be shifting tastes, because statistics show that diet soda consumption has also fallen from its peaks. Meanwhile, sales of bottled water have increased and actually overtaken sales of full calorie soda. Undoubtedly, we still see consumption of an enormous  amount of high calorie, high carbohydrate beverages, and the problem disproportionally affects lower socioeconomic class children. The problem of sugary beverage consumption is a key reason why obesity rates among children in lower socioeconomic status households are higher. Reducing the consumption of sugary foods, and shifting the same at risk households toward a diet that emphasizes vegetables and protein, will go along way toward reversing the obesity epidemic. But it’s a very difficult undertaking with so many high sugar foods and drinks readily available, and easily affordable. Some municipalities have attempted to combat the problem through taxes on soda, as well as changes in the offerings by schools. Soda manufacturers have successfully fought off soda tax nearly everywhere, bringing formidable financial resources to the political and legal fight. But as a recent New York Times article described, the public debate itself has cast sugary beverages in a negative light and lead to the shaping of community attitudes against sugary soda. A few municipalities have succeeded in removing soda from school vending machines, and a few school systems have succeeded in improving the overall menu offerings. The challenges however our immense. Well most physicians specializing in obesity recognize the root causes of obesity as being multifactorial, with high carbohydrate foods and beverages at the top of the long list of contributing factors, lots of leaders in schools, Politics, and elsewhere have their own notions of what constitutes a healthy diet. So we still see a scientifically unfounded emphasis on “low fat” offerings in supermarkets and sometimes in school advocacy At present, the main areas where a community or a school board could improve the health of its children and community are in eliminating all beverages other than milk and water, and shifting the food offerings away from breads, sweets, crackers, and toured vegetables, vegetables, vegetables, and proteins. That shift has already proven to be surprisingly difficult despite the toll that obesity is taking on our young people. Kent C. Sasse, M.D., MPH, FACS, FACRS Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Nevada School of Medicine Minimally Invasive Solutions  ]]>

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