New Research Shows Direct Link Between Soda and Obesity

This press release is an announcement submitted by California Center for Public Health Advocacy, and was not written by Diabetes Health.

Sep 24, 2009

DAVIS, CA, SEPTEMBER 17, 2009 - While health officials have long suspected the link between obesity and soda consumption, research released today provides the first scientific evidence of the potent role soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages play in fueling California's expanding girth.

In their landmark study: Bubbling Over: Soda Consumption and Its Link to Obesity in California, researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) discovered a strong correlation between soda consumption and weight. Based upon data from more than 40,000 interviews conducted by the California Health Interview Surveys (CHIS), researchers found that adults who drink a soda or more per day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight than those who do not drink sodas, regardless of income or ethnicity.

"The science is clear and conclusive: soda is fueling California's $41 billion a year obesity epidemic," says CCPHA Executive Director Dr. Harold Goldstein, an author of the research brief. "We drink soda like water. But unlike water, soda serves up a whopping 17 teaspoons of sugar in every 20-ounce serving."

Research shows that over the last 30 years Americans consumed 278 more calories per day even as physical activity levels remained relatively unchanged. One of the biggest changes in diet during that period was the enormous increase in soda consumption, accounting for as much as 43 percent of all new calories. According to Goldstein, that research, combined with this new data on soda consumption, offers conclusive proof of the link between soda and obesity.

And while adult soda consumption is troubling, consumption trends among children paint an even more alarming picture for the future health of California. The study found that 41 percent of young children (2-11 years of age) are drinking at least one soda or sugar-sweetened beverage every day. Adolescents (12-17) represent the biggest consumers, with 62 percent (over 2 million youths) drinking one or more sodas every day - the equivalent of consuming 39 pounds of sugar each year in soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

"Soda is cheap, sweet and irresistibly marketed to teens," says the study's lead author, Dr. Susan H. Babey, a research scientist with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. "Not enough teens know about the health and dietary risks of drinking huge quantities of what is essentially liquid sugar while television and advertising tell them it is ‘cool' to do so."

There were major differences in adult consumption rates by county, the study discovered. Residents of the lowest soda consuming counties of Marin, San Francisco, Yolo and San Mateo drink far less soda than their counterparts in the heaviest drinking counties of Kings, Madera, Kern and Imperial. Nevertheless, the soda/obesity linkage still holds true - those who consume large amounts of soda, regardless of where they live, suffer disproportionally from obesity and overweight.

"If we are serious about tackling the obesity crisis, cutting back soda consumption has to be the top priority," Goldstein asserts. "Parents, communities, businesses and government all have a role to play in helping to reduce consumption. We cannot afford to raise another ‘Pepsi Generation.'"

Funding for the study was provided by The California Endowment, a private statewide health foundation that is a national leader in the childhood obesity prevention movement. "This research clearly shows the very serious health risks of drinking soda and other sweetened beverages. I hope policymakers will read this report closely and think about what they can do to combat the obesity epidemic that is clearly tied to consuming too many sodas," says Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment.

The full text of the study is available on the CCPHA Web site at:

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Beverages, Losing weight, Pre-Diabetes, Research, Sugar & Sweeteners, Type 2 Issues, Weight Loss

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (4)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by robvdvelden on 26 September 2009

Thank Heavens for this study - who would have known?

Posted by Anonymous on 27 September 2009

Pretty funny robvdvelden! It's probably also because of what they eat. My guess is soda drinkers are also more likely to eat fast food. Burgers, fries, fried chicken, tacos, etc. They are probably making poor food choices across the board. Wonder when the study will come out on that???

Posted by dahpostpl93 on 27 September 2009

Pretty funny robvdvelden! It's probably also because of what they eat. My guess is soda drinkers are also more likely to eat fast food. Burgers, fries, fried chicken, tacos, etc. They are probably making poor food choices across the board. Wonder when the study will come out on that?

Posted by Raman virk on 28 March 2010

I’m glad I came across your blog today as it will now be part of my daily reading:Flsugar

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.