Tuesday, September 18

Study shows rise in California children’s consumption of sugary drinks


Sugary beverages are linked to diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and dental decay because of their poor nutritional value and excess sugar. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Sugary beverages are linked to diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and dental decay because of their poor nutritional value and excess sugar. (Daily Bruin file photo)


More California children are drinking sugary beverages, according to a study released by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Researchers in the center observed and compiled data on the nutrition of children aged 2 to 11 from the California Health Interview Survey from 2003 to 2014. According to a study published April 12, 30.9 percent of children in California drank one or more sugary beverages every day from 2013 to 2014, an increase from 26 percent in 2009.

Researchers categorized sugary beverages as drinks with added caloric sweeteners, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and juices. Sugary beverages are linked to diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and dental decay because of their poor nutritional value and excess sugar.

For example, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found for every 12-ounce soda can a child consumes daily, their odds of becoming obese increase by 60 percent. The CHIS also reports 15 percent of children aged 2 to 11 were overweight for their age in 2014.

San Bernardino and Riverside counties saw the largest percentage of children, 38.7 and 37.9 percent, respectively, drinking sugary beverages daily.

In the study, researchers report the larger percentages may be the result of socio-economic and environmental factors. For example, some counties may have less access to healthy food options, such as fresh produce, a situation linked to unhealthy eating behaviors such as consuming sugary beverages.

Although the percentage of children consuming sugary beverages daily in 2013 to 2014 has increased, it’s still below the 49 percent of children who consumed the drinks in 2003. Researchers attribute this to public health education on the harmful effects of sugary beverages. However, the recent increase could represent a reversal in the overall reduction in consumption since 2003, according to the researchers.

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Science and health editor

Nakahara is the assistant news editor for the science and health beat. She was previously a contributor for the science and health beat.


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  • Daphne

    Bad sugar. I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2017. I started the some diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research. Then I found Lisa’s diabetes story (google ” How I freed myself from diabetes ” ) I read that article from end to end because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next week my blood sugar was down to 100 and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70′s and the 80′s. My doctor took me off the metformin after just three week of being on this lifestyle change. I have lost over 16 pounds and 3+ inches around my waist in a month. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods

  • Publius

    For a second there I thought I was reading a real life objective Daily Bruin article. So close. Objectivity is dead, editorializing is the new reality:

    “In the study, researchers report the larger percentages may be the result of socio-economic and environmental factors. For example, some counties may have less access to healthy food options [...].”

    No. No. Like really, no. Everybody in California has access to an unlimited supply of free clean drinking water. The need for some UCLA students to disabuse poor people of any sort of personal responsibility does not mean that California parents do not have the ability to instruct their children to drink water instead of sodapop.

    California kids are drinking sugar because their parents have failed them. Those failing parents come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and socioeconomic backgrounds. If people don’t want fat kids, then parents should take control and demonstrate their authority.