Replacing Sugared Beverages With Water Helps Kids Cut Calories and Weight

Want to help your kids keep the weight off? Just give them water instead of soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks, researchers advised this week.

More Information:

Encouraging children and teens to drink water instead of sugary beverages  may decreases in their total calorie intake of an average of 235 per day, according to new research.

Researchers examined diet information on more than 3,000 children and teens (aged 3 to 19 years) participating in a government health study.  

Results showed that every additional 8-ounce serving of sugared beverages the kids drank increased their overall daily calories by 106.  

Replacing a couple of sugared drinks with water would significantly cut calories for kids and teens, the authors conclude. 

The study was published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 

As you become aware of these types of studies, it may help you begin to see the case that I make for a tax on sugared soft drinks in my book SuperSized Kids: How to Protect Your Child from the Obesity Threat.

And, as states from New York to California begin to consider a possible tax on energy and soft drinks containing sugar, the authors of a terrific new article in the New England Journal of Medicine this week lay out the public health and economic case for such taxes. 

The authors, Kelly Brownell of Yale University and New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden, argue that such a tax would be the single most effective thing that could be done to address the obesity epidemic. 

Wow. This is one big claim.

But, they cite data that finds a 10% increase in price would result in a 10% reduction in consumption. 

Interestingly, this fits with research on tobacco finding that cigarette taxes have had the biggest impact on the public quitting or not starting smoking.

And, it’s not a new idea. Adam Smith, writing in his book, The Wealth of Nations, in 1776 penned this: “Sugar, rum, and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.”

But, what do you think?

 

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