Sugary drinks may lead kids to overeat
With the spotlight on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent efforts to limit the size of sugary drinks, experts have been weighing in on the health dangers of consuming soda and other drinks laden with the white stuff.
Now, researchers say kids who drink sugar-sweetened beverages tend to eat more calories overall than children who don’t.
Results of a new study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shows sugar-sweetened beverages may lead kids to overeat. Additionally, those extra calories generally come from unhealthy foods. The report was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The study analyzed data from a national nutrition survey taken from 2003-2010 that included responses from nearly 11,000 children ages 2-18
The findings showed that kids who ate more tended to also consume sugar-sweetened beverages and where less likely to drink non-sweetened drinks. Researchers concluded that the sugar drinks are mostly responsible for the higher intake of calories.
The report may raise more awareness about the increasing number overweight American children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. The percentage of U.S. children ages 6 to 11 considered obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2010.
“I encourage my patients to make living healthy a household affair,” Dr. DeBruler says. “The entire family needs to be engaged in the dietary changes that are essential to treating a child who is overweight or obese. Parents are the primary influencers in a child’s life. It’s really up to them to set the example.”
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