Why Healthy Beverages?
The consumption of sugary drinks is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic (1, 2). These sugary drinks include sodas, sports drinks, punches, flavored milks, and juice drinks with added sugars. The added sugars and syrups in sugary drinks are a significant source of empty calories and have been shown to foster a “sweet tooth” in adults (3).
Sugary drinks are also associated with weight gain and tooth decay, two of the most common chronic health problems in children today. Overweight and obese children are also more likely to develop other chronic diseases later in life, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke.
However, despite these poor health outcomes, research has shown that many young children are still consuming sugary drinks. In California, one in three children between two and five years of age consume at least one soda per day.
Eliminating sugary drinks, encouraging water consumption, and serving only fat-free or low-fat (1%) unsweetened, plain milk to children two and older can help children achieve a healthy weight and teach them good eating habits, both of which can reduce the risk of obesity-related disease.