Sugar drinks and obesity
Americans enjoy a lot of soft drinks. They also suffer high levels of obesity. Some people argue that sacrificing one will solve the other.
A recent US Government report shows that 25% of Americans consume 200 or more kilocalories of sugar drinks on any given day and the average for males aged 12-19 is 273 calories a day.
Hold on a moment, says the American Beverage Association. Obesity levels are indeed rising. But sugar drinks consumption has been falling.
• Total calories from beverages declined 21% between 1998 and 2008.
• Sales of regular soft drinks dropped 12.5% between 1999 and 2010.
• Sugar drinks account for only 7% of an average American’s calorie intake, according to US Government figures.
I do not believe soda taxes are the answer. The whole of society – from government to parents and from industry to schools – must unite behind making good nutrition and health choices more attractive and affordable.