New Study Reinforces Link Between Sugary Drinks and Childhood Obesity

Geo Beats
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Past studies have confirmed that among teens and school-aged children, one of the biggest contributors seems to be drinks filled with sugar and empty calories like sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks. New research confirms that it’s also the case among children aged 2-5.

Over the last 30 years, obesity in children ages 2 through 19 has tripled to 17%. To bring attention to this growing epidemic, Season 14 of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” featured children for the first time and emphasized prevention starting in the home. Parents and guardians play key roles in setting examples and monitoring what and how much kids eat and drink.

Past studies have confirmed that among teens and school-aged children, one of the biggest contributors seems to be drinks filled with sugar and empty calories like sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks. New research confirms that it’s also the case among children aged 2-5.

Dr. Y. Claire Wang, from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, said, “It's definitely one of the major, if not the main, driver in childhood obesity.” Now the American Academy of Pediatrics has published a new study supporting Dr. Wang’s statement and showing the link in kids as young as toddlers and preschoolers.

Researchers surveyed parents and took body mass index or BMI measurements on 9,600 children, 2 through 5 years old. The results showed children who consumed sugar-filled drinks on a daily basis had a 1.5 times greater chance of being obese at ages 4 and 5 than others who didn’t.

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