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Bubbling Over: Soda Consumption and Its Link to Obesity in California

September 1, 2009

Policy Brief

Authors: Susan H. Babey, PhD, Malia Jones, Harold Goldstein

This study reports geographic variations in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among children, adolescents, and adults and examines the correlation between soda consumption and obesity. Among the findings: researchers found that adults who drink a soda or more per day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight than those who do not drink sodas, regardless of income or ethnicity. Among children, the study found that 40 percent of young children (2-11 years of age) are drinking at least one soda or sugar-sweetened beverage every day. Adolescents (12-17) represent the biggest consumers, with 62 percent(over 2 million youths) drinking one or more sodas every day – the equivalent of consuming 39 pounds of sugar each year in soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

Data was drawn from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which interviewed more than 43,000 adults and 4,000 adolescents from every county in the state.

The study was commissioned by The California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

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