1 in 4 high schoolers drink soda every day
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
A new study shows one in four high school students drink soda every day — a sign fewer teens are downing the sugary drinks.
The study also found teens drink water, milk and fruit juices most often — a pleasant surprise, because researchers weren’t certain that was the case.
“We were very pleased to see that,” said the study’s lead author, Nancy Bener of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Still, a quarter have at least one soda each day. And when other sugary drinks like Gatorade are also counted, the figure is closer to two-thirds of high school students drinking a sweetened beverage every day.
That’s less than in the past. In the 1990s and early 2000s, more than three-quarters of teens were having a sugary drink each day, according to earlier research.
The CDC reported the figures, based on a national survey last year of more than 11,000 high school students. They appear in one of the federal agency’s publications, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Consumption of sugary drinks is considered a big public health problem, and has been linked to the U.S. explosion in childhood obesity. One study of Massachusetts schoolchildren found that for each additional sweet drink per day, the odds of obesity increased 60 percent.
As a result, many schools have stopped selling soda or artificial juice to students.
Indeed, CDC data suggests that the proportion of teens who drink soda each day dropped from 29 percent in 2009 to 24 percent in 2010, at least partly as a result.
“It looks like total consumption is going down,” said Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.