Heavy soda-drinking linked to weight gain, cavities in young children

Sometimes I feel as if I’m writing for “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live. The headlines I find myself encountering are just that comically obvious.

Among the latest: Kids with easy access to sweet drinks are five times more likely to overindulge.

And just whom does this surprise???

When it comes to junk food, kids are like dogs–they will eat or drink the forbidden fruit until they burst. And everyone knows that they’re primarily sugar junkies. (Children, I mean–not dogs.)

So if they have constant access to it, why wouldn’t they overindulge?

Honestly. I can’t believe we spend money on studies like this. One look in the average family’s refrigerator–and at the skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity–would tell you pretty much everything you need to know about this particular problem.

But since these researchers went to the trouble, I suppose I should share their findings with you.

According to press materials from the University of Sydney, this study discovered “alarming” levels of soda drinking among school-aged children–especially among the kids where soft drink are available at home.

Again, this finding isn’t so “alarming.” Kids like junk food, simple as that. But you know what is alarming?

The fact that any child would have constant access to soda in the first place. Frankly, it’s bad enough that adults drink that garbage. That they would also serve it to their kids is inexcusable.

And yet, this is exactly what’s happening.

The study also found that kids who drank soda with their meals at home were roughly ten times more likely to be high consumers. And this was particularly true among students from a lower socioeconomic background.

Again, not particularly surprising information. It’s past time we built a system where lower income people have better access to cheaper, healthier food.

But soda at the dinner table? Well if you want my opinion, that’s tantamount to child abuse.

Which makes it even more appalling that schools continue to contribute to this problem. Among this study’s other findings: Students who buy soda at school are three times as likely to drink a lot of it.

The kids aren’t alright

Honestly. Haven’t we gotten to the point where we know soda shouldn’t be in schools? I can’t imagine any so-called learning establishment still selling these products. And yet, here we are.

I don’t know how many times people need to hear it. Drinking soda is a health disaster waiting to happen–and kids are just as vulnerable to this threat as any adult.

Heavy soda-drinking habits are linked to weight gain and cavities in young children. And they’re linked to high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and lower bone mineral density–all hallmark health issues of middle age and beyond–in adolescents.

Yes… adolescents.

So again, I must ask you… are these conditions you want to give your children?

If the answer is NO, then keep soda out of your home. And while you’re at it, make sure your kids are getting plenty of exercise, too…

“A fizzy environment: Availability and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among school students.” Prev Med. 2013 Feb 26.