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Sugary Drinks and Obesity

Is there a link between sugary drinks and obesity? Yes, there is. Recent studies have shown that the consumption of sugary drinks has risen 135% from 1977 to 2001, and as the consumption of sugary drinks has increased, so has the consumer’s waistline.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 33.9% of Americans over the age of 20 are obese, and 18.1% of adolescences between 12 and 18 are also obese. Type II diabetes, called the twin of obesity, is no longer called an “adult-onset” disease because of the increasing number of children who have developed the disease. Between 50% to 80% of type II diabetes is linked to unhealthy eating habits. Children who consume more sugary drinks are consuming more calories. This increase in calorie intake has helped to lead to an increase in weight. Although sugary drinks are not the only cause of obesity, the continuous consumption of these drinks will lead to obesity. One 12-ounce can of non-diet soda contains 150 calories. This can equal a weight gain of 15 pounds in one year with regular consumption.

The majority of sugary drinks contain a substance called high fructose corn sugar. What is high fructose corn sugar? High fructose corn sugar is a chemically altered version of regular sugar that manufactures use to sweeten a product and to give it longer shelf life. In the years since the introduction of high fructose corn sugar, the rate of obesity in America has rapidly risen. Despite what many manufactures claim, high fructose corn sugar (HFCS) has been linked to abnormal weight gain especially in the abdominal area. A number of clinical studies have shown that the risk of developing diabetes is higher in people who consume 1-2 sugary drinks per day.

Because of the correlation between obesity and the continuous consumption of sugary drinks, some lawmakers are trying to stop the sale of supersized drinks. New York City’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg recently won his battle against the sale of supersized sugary drinks. This ban will stop the sale of large soda and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters, and street carts. Bloomberg’s has stated that America’s obesity problem is a serious issue, and instead of sitting back hoping for change, his administration is making public health a priority.

There is a correlation between the the increased consumption of sugary drinks and obesity despite what the manufactures of sugary drinks would like everyone to think. Sugary drinks can still be enjoyed just in limited amounts.