A new study suggests that we shouldn’t be wasting time on the debate to ban supersized sodas, at least in terms of fighting childhood obesity. Researchers say soda is not a main culprit of childhood obesity; in fact, the link between the consumption of sweetened beverages and obesity is weak at best.
The Canadian study, which will be published in the October issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, found that the main predictors of childhood obesity (at least among Canadian children) was household income, ethnicity, and household food security. In other words, it all comes down to money.
But soda is cheap, and supersizing is a bargain! How many times have you bought something just because it’s a great deal? Moreover, the study found that the intake of sweetened beverages does in fact play a factor in 6 to 11-year-old boys’ risk of obesity. So, perhaps soda isn’t the direct cause of childhood obesity, but when times are tough, fast food and other giant supersized deals are more economical.
Maybe a ban on supersized sodas isn’t what this country needs, maybe what this country needs is more education when it comes to nutrition and wellness. The average American is aware that soda is an unhealthy choice, but not everyone knows they are guzzling down nearly 100 grams of sugar when they order a large soda, or worse, that the majority of juice has nearly the same sugar content.
Bottom line: Soda is not the main cause of childhood obesity, but it does play its role. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s initiative to combat rising obesity in NYC with a soda limit may not end the obesity epidemic, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
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