Culture Post: Drinking Soda Linked to Obesity Among Teenagers in Over 100 Countries

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.

Is soda and other sugary beverages the root cause of childhood obesity? A new study argues that there’s a strong link between the consumption of soda and obesity among teenagers in over 100 countries. The research, conducted across 107 nations worldwide, reveals that every 10-percent increase in daily soft drink consumption has a correlation with a 3.7-percent increase in the number of overweight and obese adolescents.

The findings highlight a strong connection between consistently drinking carbonated beverages and the risk of weight gain in adolescents. Niue, a small Pacific Island nation, had the highest prevalence of both overweight and obese youngsters, as well as the highest number of teens consuming at least one soft drink each day.

The study was based on school surveys across 107 countries, designed to measure the link between the consumption of sugary drinks and obesity among adolescents. Some of these countries have imposed taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, while others have not.

The survey, which included 405,528 school-going adolescents, asked about each child’s consumption of “soft drinks.” These were defined as carbonated beverages that typically contain sugar, including well-known brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, as well as unbranded drinks. The teens were asked about their daily consumption of these drinks, as well as their intake of fruits and vegetables.

The authors of the study found a consistent trend across all nations: every 10-percent increase in the daily consumption of soft drinks led to a 3.7-percent increase in the prevalence of overweight and obese teens.

The study was published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open.

Source: StudyFinds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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