Soda's, Sports Drinks and Coffee, Oh My!

Obesity is increasing in high school students

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Sodas, sport drinks and other sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugars in young people's diets these days. Most don't realize the impact drinks can have on their health.

Sodas and other sweetened drinks are packed with sugar - or more likely high fructose corn syrup - but have no nutritional value. And about one in four teens consumes these beverages daily. Sugary drinks add a lot of unnecessary calories and sugar to teens' diets and are a huge contributing factor to the obesity epidemic.

So it comes as no real surprise that drinking these beverages is boosting obesity in teenagers. Almost one fourth of all high school students drink soda daily.

"Sugar drinks are not good for you."

To determine the types of beverages students are drinking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) performed the National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS) on high school students, grades 9-12,. The study included all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A survey was used to determine the types of beverages students drank on a daily basis. The CDC found that 42 percent of participants drank at least one glass of milk every day, and 30.2 percent drank 100 percent fruit juices daily.

Milk and 100 percent fruit juices are good drink choices because they provide calcium and vitamin C.

The CDC also found 24.3 percent drank soda regularly, with 16.1 percent drinking at least one serving of sports drinks and 16.9 percent consuming other sugar- sweetened beverages like coffee or tea. These drinks are not good choices because they increase caloric intake without providing any nutritional benefits.

The researchers also found male students were more likely to drink sodas than female students. Black students were more likely to drink sugary drinks daily than white and Hispanic students.

The study concludes that it is important to provide and advertise healthier choices of beverages in schools all across the nation.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 21, 2011
Last Updated:
June 23, 2011