Questions & Answers (Q&A)
Why focus on beverages?
Research has increasingly identified sugary drinks as a major driver of the obesity epidemic. Obesity has many contributing factors, but research shows that soda and other sugary drinks are the biggest contributor of empty calories in the American diet.
Unfortunately, these sugary drinks are too easily available and heavily marketed to our children in the places where they live, learn, and play. Overconsumption of these sugary drinks can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Research suggests that substituting water for sugary drinks could result in up to 235 fewer extra calories per day being consumed by children.
While limiting sugary drinks alone will not solve the obesity crisis, it can make a significant impact. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans specifically recommends: "Reduce intake of sugar-sweetened beverages... Sugar-sweetened beverages provide excess calories and few essential nutrients to the diet."