Yes– it’s the sugar soda
September 22, 2012 Leave a comment
Definitely time for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages:
New research powerfully strengthens the case against soda and other sugary drinks as culprits in the obesity epidemic.
A huge, decades-long study involving more than 33,000 Americans has yielded the first clear proof that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight, amplifying a person’s risk of obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone.
This means that such drinks are especially harmful to people with genes that predispose them to weight gain.
I know what you’re thinking– not me. Well…
And most of us have at least some of these genes.
And for years and years I’ve been hearing people insist (for no actual scientific reason) that diet sodas are surely just as bad. Nope:
In addition, two other major experiments have found that giving children and teens calorie-free alternatives to the sugary drinks they usually consume leads to less weight gain.
Collectively, the results strongly suggest that sugary drinks cause people to pack on the pounds, independent of other unhealthy behavior such as overeating and getting too little exercise, scientists say…
Soda lovers do get some good news: Sugar-free drinks did not raise the risk of obesity in these studies.
“You may be able to fool the taste” and satisfy a sweet tooth without paying a price in weight, [emphasis mine] said an obesity researcher with no role in the studies, Rudy Leibel of Columbia University.
I think I should put that quote on my FB page. Anyway, the policy implications are ever more clear. We need to treat sugar-sweetened beverages like the serious public health threat that they are and tax them accordingly.