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Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2001

Studies: Childhood obesity not linked to soft drinks

May 3, 2001

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It's been cool to bash soft drinks lately. Some recent media reports have said that carbonated beverages like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the reason that most American children are fat.

In response, soda pop bottlers agreed to put more juice, water and milk in their vending machines at schools.

But nutrition researchers at Georgetown University warn parents not to single out soda.

Four new studies by Georgetown's Center for Food and Nutrition Policy say soft drink consumption by children is not linked to pediatric obesity, poor diet quality or a lack of exercise.

One study of 12- to 16-year-olds shows no relationship between the consumption of regular carbonated soft drinks and (body mass index) BMI, a measurement for obesity, said Maureen Storey, associate director of the center.

The biggest factor in fighting obesity is exercise.

"As educators, we need to stress the vital role of physical activity for all students, not just the best athletes chosen for the varsity sports teams," Storey said.

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