Here’s my letter to the editor of the Lexington Herald Leader:
When I read the April 7th letter from the Kentucky Beverage Association representative titled “Don’t blame soft drinks for obesity” I knew I had to respond. Kentucky has the third highest rate of childhood obesity and education about soda’s role in this epidemic is necessary to turn this around. Ms. Fugate’s letter tried to obfuscate the role of soda in obesity but left out some important facts:
An extra soft drink a day gives a child a 60 percent greater chance of becoming obese.
A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 240 calories. According to the American Heart Association, women should limit added sugars to only 6 teaspoons per day while men should take in no more than 9 teaspoons per day.
People who drink this “liquid candy” do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food and do not compensate by eating less.
People who consume sugary drinks regularly have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks.
Each year, soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks are associated with about 180,000 preventable deaths worldwide and 25,000 deaths in the U.S.
Ms. Fugate gets paid to try and convince us that soda is harmless but it’s important to recognize her organization’s mission is to revive slumping sales. Look beyond the PR spin and study the science for yourself.