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Reported April 26, 2004

Avoid Fizzy Drinks to Keep Kids Fit

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Children need to put down their soda cans, says a new study published online in the British Medical Journal.

Many experts agree obesity in children has reached epidemic proportions. Now, researchers say childhood obesity can be prevented by limiting the amount of carbonated drinks sweetened with sugar that kids drink.

Researchers introduced an education program to six schools in Dorset, England. With these programs, they tried to discourage the consumption of soda among children ages 7 to 11.

The researchers looked at the number of carbonated drinks consumed over a three-day period and body mass index of children at six and 12 months in intervention and control groups.

In the intervention group, consumption of carbonated drinks over the three days decreased by 0.6 glasses a day. Consumption in the control group decreased by 0.2 glasses a day.

Even though the reduction of carbonated drinks was modest in the intervention group, the percentage of overweight and obese children decreased 0.2 percent over 12 months. This is compared to a 7.6 percent increase of obesity in the control group.

The authors say that their intervention was simple and could be easily implemented by a health educators working in schools. They say: "Although our targeted approach was modestly beneficial, other external influences on children's eating habits and leisure activities need to be debated widely in society. For most people, obesity still remains preventable."

 

SOURCE: British Medical Journal, published online April 22, 2004

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.naturallyherbs.com/alerts.shtml.


 

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