Public policies to stop kids from drinking sugary drinks

Added sugar is dangerous for teenagers. It may possibly result in cavities, weight problems, diabetes, and coronary heart illness. That’s why it’s really helpful that youngsters get not more than 10% of their each day energy from added sugar. The issue is that in keeping with latest knowledge, added sugar makes up 17% of the each day energy of the common baby and teenage. Nearly half of that comes not from meals, however from sugary drinks.

Pediatricians have lengthy mentioned that youngsters and youths ought to keep away from sugary drinks, together with juices with added sugar and soda. But consumption has not gone down. A few of that has to do with habits, which will be notoriously arduous to alter, however a few of it additionally has to do with the truth that these drinks are closely marketed to youth. And they’re very cheap, usually cheaper than more healthy decisions.

That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Coronary heart Affiliation (AHA) have come out with a joint assertion, “Public Insurance policies to Scale back Sugary Drink Consumption in Kids and Adolescents,” revealed within the journal Pediatrics. In it, they lay out some public coverage steps that could possibly be taken to lower consumption of sugary drinks — and assist preserve our youth more healthy. These embody:

  • Elevating the value of those drinks, corresponding to with an excise tax. In the event that they value extra folks could also be much less probably to purchase them, and the tax income could possibly be used to fund well being and well being schooling programming.
  • Federal and state governments ought to work to lower the advertising of sugary drinks to adolescents and youths. We’d like to consider these drinks the identical method we take into consideration tobacco merchandise. It’s incorrect to market unhealthy and harmful merchandise to youngsters.
  • Water and milk ought to be the default decisions on youngsters’s menus at eating places, at colleges, and in merchandising machines that cater to youngsters and youth. If it’s not accessible, they’ll drink much less of it.
  • Federal diet help packages like SNAP ought to discourage the acquisition of sugary drinks.
  • Hospitals ought to set an instance by not providing sugary drinks to sufferers and households.
  • Correct and credible diet details about these drinks ought to be made accessible, not simply on diet labels but in addition on restaurant menus and in commercials (just like the well being warnings which can be in tobacco advertising). Not solely do folks have to know the risks of what they’re shopping for for his or her youngsters, it must be more durable for them to keep away from realizing it.

Typically, we have to step in and defend our youngsters. With practically one in 5 of our 2-to-19-year-olds overweight, and practically one other one in 5 chubby, we owe it to them to do the whole lot we will.

Observe me on Twitter @drClaire

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