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SOURCE California Center for Public Health Advocacy
DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While consumption of soda and other sugary drinks among young children in California is starting to decline, a new study released today shows an alarming 8 percent spike among adolescents, the biggest consumers of these beverages.
Based on interviews with over 40,000 California households conducted by the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the study, Still Bubbling Over: California Adolescents Drinking More Soda and Other Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, provides a comprehensive look at youth (2- to 17-year-olds) consumption of sugary drinks, charting consumption patterns from 2005-2007 to 2011-2012. The study, which also provides county-by-county youth consumption rates, was produced collaboratively by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA).
The most encouraging finding was the dramatic drop in the proportion of young children drinking sugary beverages daily over the seven-year period. Only 19 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds drink a sugary beverage daily, a 30 percent decline from the 2005-2007 reporting period. Among 6- to 11-year-olds, 32 percent were daily consumers in 2011-12, representing a 26 percent drop since 2005-2007.
Of greatest concern, however, is the significant rise among the biggest consumers of sugary drinks – adolescents (12- to 17-year-olds). Today, a full 65 percent of California adolescents drink sugary beverages daily, an 8 percent climb since 2005-2007. And while the study's authors point out that roughly the same proportion of these youth are drinking soda, 23 percent more are consuming energy and sports drinks every day.
"California has made real progress in reducing the consumption of sugary beverages among young children," says Dr. Susan Babey, the report's lead author. "But teens are in trouble. Soda or sports drinks should be an occasional treat, not a daily habit. If this trend isn't reversed there may be costly consequences for teens, their families and the health care system in the form of increased obesity and diabetes."
Although the study does not directly examine the causes for the sugary spike among teens, Dr. Harold Goldstein, CCPHA's executive director, suggests one clear reason.
"As parents learn more about the harm from consuming sugary drinks, they are limiting how much their children drink. Teens, however, are more independent, making them an ideal target for beverage companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars marketing sugary drinks to them, including deceptively healthy-sounding beverages like sports drinks and vitamin water. We may not be able to protect teens everywhere but we should at least close the loophole in state law that allows beverages companies to sell sugary sports drinks on middle and high school campuses."
The full study and complete version of this press release are available at: www.publichealthadvocacy.org/stillbubblingover.html.
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