By COLlive staff
New York City’s Health Department today announced the launch of a new media campaign that compares sugary drinks to cigarettes.
The campaign emphasizes that both products are hazardous to your health and reminds New Yorkers not to give sugary drinks to children. Sugary drinks – including soda, sweetened iced tea, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit punch and other fruit-flavored drinks that have added sugar – can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities and weight gain.
In New York City, sugary drink consumption overall declined among adults between 2007 and 2017. About 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 3 public high school students drink at least one sugary drink per day. Rates of consumption are much higher in communities of color, especially for the youngest New Yorkers (up to age 5) – the prevelance for Black children is 28 percent and Latino children is 31 percent, compared to 8 percent among Whites.
“Like cigarettes, sugary drinks are bad for our health and can have long-term consequences,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Through this campaign, we hope all New Yorkers will understand that, while sugary drinks may be sweet going down, their impact on our health is not. We urge all New Yorkers to consume fewer sugary drinks, and parents should not give sugary drinks to their children.”
“The soda industry aggressively promotes sweetened drinks through ads, sponsorships, ubiquitous placement, and steep pricing discounts,” said the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s vice president for nutrition Margo G. Wootan.
“Though familiar and duplicitously marketed as fostering happiness, sugar-sweetened beverages in the amounts currently promoted and present throughout the food supply are unsafe.”
The American Heart Association recommends that kids ages 12-18 should have less than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily for a healthy heart.
“Added sugars contribute to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity-related cancers, and dental caries in people of all ages,” stated Robin Vitale, Vice President, Health Strategies for the American Heart Association in New York City.
Know the Risks:
· Sugary drink consumption can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities and weight gain, which can lead to obesity. Overweight and obesity are linked to many chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and some cancers.
· The largest single source of added sugar in the American diet comes from sugary drinks.
· Sugary drinks include more than just soda. Sweetened iced teas, energy, sports and juice drinks can also contain large amounts of added sugar.
· Just one 20-ounce bottle of soda can include over 70 grams of added sugar, which is more than 250 empty calories.
· Sugary drinks are calorie dense and often contain few or no nutrients. They are a significant contributor of empty calories in children’s diets.
Tips to avoid sugary drinks:
1. Avoid sugary drinks and do not give them to children.
2. Check the Nutrition Facts label and avoid drinks with added sugars such as corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, honey or molasses.
3. Skip sports drinks and energy drinks.
4. Instead of reaching for a sugary drink:
o Drink water or seltzer, and add fruits, vegetables or herbs for flavor.
o Eat whole fruits instead of drinking juice.
o Ask for coffee and tea with no sugar.
5. If you do have a sugary drink, choose a small size so you drink fewer empty calories.