This post was written by Raul Espinoza Jr, the Voices for Healthy Kid’s Grassroots Advocacy Manager. Raul handles action alerts for the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center, and in today’s post he shares information on an important issue.
It’s no secret that sugary drinks have been in the news lately. Cities have been taking matters into their own hands. Cities have passed sugary drink taxes or policies to make the beverage in restaurant kids’ meals healthier. Sugary drinks have become a major problem in today’s culture—especially for our young people. A soda, juice drink, sport drink, or sweet tea was once considered a treat. Now, these sugary drinks have become a daily selection for our children.
People living in the United States consume about 34 pounds of added sugar every year from sugary drinks.
According to the American Heart Association, sugary drinks like juice drinks, soda, and sports drinks are the number one source of added sugars in our diet.
- A 12-ounce can of regular soda has 10 teaspoons of added sugar
- A 20-ounce bottle of regular soda has 16 teaspoons of added sugar
If we begin to add what some consume in a week, a month, and yearly—the number of added sugars can be eye opening.
Sugary drinks impact communities of color.
African Americans and Latinos have less access to healthy drinks and consume more sugary drinks than their white peers. And these same groups experience higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. These issues are brought on, in part, by sugary drinks.
The beverage industry spends millions of dollars every year marketing to communities of color. African American children and teens see more than twice as many ads for sugary drinks than their white peers. Advertising targeted at Latino youth has drastic results. Latino kids visit sugary drink company websites 93 percent more than their non-Hispanic peers.
It’s time to take action!
The American Heart Association recommends that children over the age of two consume no more than one eight-ounce sugary drink a week. Children are drinking up to 10 times this amount. Children in families with lower incomes drink 2.5 times more than their peers with higher incomes!
It’s time for us to rethink their drink. Stand with me.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.
The American Heart Association’s blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.