Reduce Soda Consumption in Children: How Soda Contributes to Childhood Obesity
Kids today are drinking more soda than ever before. A recent UCLA study showed that 41% of kids 2-11 and 62% of teens 12-17 drink one or more sodas per day. There is a direct correlation between soda consumption and childhood obesity. Drinking one soda per day increases the risk of a child becoming overweight. Reduce soda consumption in children to encourage weight loss and better health.
The Negative Effects of Soda on Children
Soda has no nutritional value, but it can cause a host of problems if children drink it regularly. A typical bottle of soda contains 250 calories, 45 mg of caffeine and a whopping 17 teaspoons of sugar. Soda contributes to childhood obesity as well as a host of other significant health concerns.
- Drinking soda leads to child obesity
- The empty calories in soda make kids feel more hungry and leads to overeating
- Kids who drink soda miss out on vitamins and nutrients found in milk and juice
- Drinking soda instead of milk leads to osteoporosis
- The caffeine in soda causes kids to be hyperactive
- The caffeine in soda also causes dehydration
- The sugar in soda breaks down tooth enamel to cause tooth decay and cavities
- Children who drink soda are at risk for diabetes
How to Reduce Soda Consumption in Children
Reducing soda consumption in children starts at home. Parents need to become role models, drinking more water and cutting back on sodas. They also need to teach their children the dangers of drinking soda and how to make healthier choices even when they are not at home.
- Don’t keep soda in the house
- Slowly switch from regular soda to diet pop
- Slowly phase out soda altogether, one serving at a time
- Offer milk with meals
- Set an example for children by modeling healthy eating and drinking habits
- Support a sin tax on soda
- Fight to have pop machines removed from schools
- Substitute milk, chocolate milk or juice for soda at fast food restaurants
- Educate kids on the dangers of drinking soda and diet pop
Parents aren’t the only ones who can help reduce childhood obesity by limiting soda consumption though. Families, schools, and other adults can help reduce the soda kids drink. “Parents, communities, businesses, and government all have a role to play in helping to reduce consumption,” according to Goldstein, the executive director or The California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
Benefits of Reducing Soda Consumption in Kids
It’s never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes. Overweight kids need support and encouragement to kick bad habits and develop healthier ones. By cutting back on soda kids are able to lose weight, strengthen their bones, eat a healthier diet, study better, concentrate better and avoid simple health risks associated with drinking soda and diet pop, such as headaches.