October 22, 2009

The new tobacco -- soda

What's wrong with a Coke once a day? Plenty, according to a recent UCLA study, "Bubbling Over: Soda Consumption and Its Link to Obesity in California". Each additional daily serving of soda increases a child’s chance risk for obesity by 60%.

There's nothing wrong with soda, according to the CEO of Coke-Cola, Muhtar Kent in the Wall Street Journal. Americans should "enjoy the simple pleasure of a Coca-Cola." He says TV and video games are the real problems.

Never mind that before the obesity crisis, Coke-Cola could only be bought in 6.5 ounce bottles with real cane sugar (88 calories). Now a small Classic Coke from Burger King is 491 calories with highly processed high fructose corn syrup.

The study tells the story: "Portion sizes have also increased from an average serving size of 6.5 fl oz (88 calories)in the 1950s, to 12 fl oz (150 calories), 20 fl oz (266 calories), and even larger portion sizes common today. The average serving size of soft drinks in fast food restaurants in 2002 was 23 fl oz (299 calories), with some chains now commonly selling soft drinks in 32 to 64 fl oz portions (416 to 832 calories, respectively)."

I remember when Coke was a nickel. In California sugary soda costs $21 billion every year.

From the study: "Each year in California, overweight and obesity cost families, employers, the health care industry and the government $21 billion. California spends more public and private money on the health consequences of obesity than any other state."

Here's some more sickening facts from Ron Eade and the Ottawa Citizen, read the entire column.

1. Over 10.7 million Californians over the age of one drink at least one soda a day (or other sugar-sweetened beverage).

2. 41% of children ages 2-11 drink at least one soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage every day.

3. That number goes up to 62% of adolescents ages 12-17.

4. Only 1 in 4 adults drinks pop though.

5. Adults who do drink one or more sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages each day are 27% more likely to be overweight or obese.

6. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, vs the recommended 5-9. That 200-400% more than recommended.

7. If you think that’s a high number, just one 20 fl oz single use bottle of soda has 17 teaspoons of sugar.

8. Almost half of the additional calories growth in our diet since the 1970’s come from soda.

9. Each American consumes an average of 50 gallons of sugar sweetened soft drinks per year.

10. Soda is the #1 source of added sugar in the American Diet.

11. Two thirds of all High Fructose Corn Syrup goes into soft drinks.

12. The average size of a soda increased from 6.5 oz in the 1950’s to 16.2 oz today (149% increase!)

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