May 10, 2004 -- School-based programs discouraging soda and other carbonated drinks appear to be effective in reducing obesity among children, a new British study suggests.
Obesity in children has reached epidemic proportions, and a contributory factor seems to be the consumption of carbonated drinks sweetened with sugar. Children who drink one non-diet carbonated drink a day take in an average 10 percent more total calories than non-consumers, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) study said. The study aimed to find out if eliminating even less than a glass a day of "fizzy" drinks (sweetened and unsweetened) while promoting a balanced healthy diet would reduce obesity among kids.
The year-long study found the "Ditch the Fizz" campaign did lead to a decrease in the percentage of kids who were overweight by 0.2 percent. Interestingly, the percentage of overweight and obese kids increased by 7.5 percent in a control group that did not participate in the program. There was no significant change in body mass index for either group.
NOTE: It is not possible to prove the weight improvements were solely linked to the decline in soda consumption, because the kids may have changed other aspects of their diet or lifestyle at the same time.
Parents offers these ways to help your child stay at a healthy weight: