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A study from Harvard shows that of soft drinks may be responsible for the doubling of obesity in children over the last 15 years.

From 1991 and 1995, adolescent boys increased their intake of soft drinks from an average of 345 mL to 570 mL. Most soft drinks are sweetened with sugar and not artificial sweeteners. Dr. David Ludwig of the Boston Children Hospital showed that school children drinking eight ounces or more of soft drinks daily consume 835 calories more than those avoiding soft drinks. That means that children who drink soft drinks loaded with sugar eat much more food than those who avoid soft drinks. Either those taking sugared drinks lack the same restraint on foods, or sugared drinks cause a rise in insulin that makes adolescents more hungry, causing them to eat more. Children who drink soft drinks regularly are fatter and presumably more likely to develop diabetes later in life.

Lancet 2001;357:505-08. "Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis" Dr. David Ludwig from the Children's Hospital Boston and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Checked 1/7/04

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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