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Big Soda’s Corporate Responsibility… and Yours

Big Soda’s Corporate Responsibility… and Yours

One sugary soft drink a day has been shown to have an impact on overall health. Over the past decade, the consumption of sugary soft drinks has risen dramatically, while consumption of other beverages has declined. While many lifestyle factors are involved, studies also show an increase in diabetes and heart disease in that same period of time.

The soda industry is part of the larger problem — it is time for the soda industry to take responsibility for the effects its unhealthy products have on people, especially children.

For children, the odds of becoming obese increase by 60 percent with each additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened drinks, according to a study from the Department of Medicine at Children’s Hospital in Boston and the Harvard School of Public Health. The results of the study suggest that the link between soft drink consumption and obesity is independent of food intake, television viewing, and physical activity.

The label on the soda can may say “0 fat,” but soft drinks are laden with sugar. When you take in more calories than your body needs, excess sugar is converted to fat. The American Heart Association suggests that women limit sugar intake to 100 calories, or 6 teaspoons a day, and men should limit their consumption to 150 calories, or 9 teaspoons. To put those numbers in perspective, one 12-ounce can of cola has 130 calories, or 8 teaspoons.

The soft drink industry is spending millions to advertise its sugar-filled products. Soda is the number one source of sugar in the American diet and a leading contributor to obesity and diabetes. Please help hold the soda industry accountable for its actions by signing this petition.

In 2009, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released the report, Bubbling Over: Soda Consumption and Its Link to Obesity in California. This landmark study provides important scientific evidence of the direct contribution of sugar-sweetened beverages to California’s $41 billion obesity epidemic.

The study found that 41 percent of children aged 2-11, 62 percent of adolescents aged 12-17, and 24 percent of adults drink at least one soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage every day. Independent of income or ethnicity, adults who drink one or more sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages every day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. Soda consumption rates vary from county to county and city to city, with dramatic variations between some counties and some cities.

Ultimately, responsibility for health and wellness begins with individual choice. An informed public stands to make healthier choices. Still, industry should take responsibility for it products and marketing strategies, especially when it has such a huge impact on children and poor communities. Just imagine what we can do if personal responsibility and corporate responsibility come together.

Please send a message to the soda industry today. Besides signing the petition, you can personalize your message to reflect your views on the subject.

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Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/justatemporarymeasure/2682817168/ (CC BY 2.0)


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52 comments

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4:19AM PDT on May 16, 2010

The soft drink companies have no responsibility since it isn't soda which is 'causing' the problem. They aren't putting a gun to anyone's head.

It's people who drink too much soda (and parents who allow it in excess for their children) who may cause health problems for themselves.

9:31AM PDT on May 14, 2010

thanks for the info

3:22PM PDT on May 13, 2010

I say we should be responsible for ourselves. Although, the FDA really should make consumers more aware of the solid scientific findings showing how truly unhealthy and unsafe a lot of supposedly allowed ingredients are.

The problem for obesity is mostly the High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Regular sugar is instantly available to cells, and can be broken down and used if you exercise soon after consumption. No fat storage! But fructose is slow-burning, and is NOT processed directly by your cells. Instead, it's broken down in the liver over time, meanwhile accumulating and over-stressing the vital organ, as well as creating chemical imbalances, then becoming fat.

However, many fruits contain fructose as well. So getting some in our diet is inevitable, even if you eat "healthy". The key is trying not to get more of it than glucose or other sugars that your body can process with less stress.

Another problem is that a LOT of sodas (and, other foods sadly) are preserved with Sodium Benzoate or Potassium Benzoate. These, in the presence of anti-oxidants or sunlight, break down into Benzene, a proven and known carcinogen. (The active ingredients of most SUNBLOCKS are also benzene based and cause CANCER... but that's another story @_@)

Pepsi's main brand is starting to lower the HFCS and make up the difference with Sugar. A slight improvement. And doesn't have benzene-preservatives. If you crave soda, the HFCS and Benzene are your main concerns, so pay attention to the ingredien

1:15AM PDT on May 10, 2010

So!
Who do we believe?
The statisticians or the pollers?
Whoever is correct, the fact of the matter is that people grab a soda when they are hot, thirsty or yearning for sugar!
Ugh!
Why not drink water.
Also, do not just replace soda with fruit drinks either.
There are many disadvantages in drinking so-called "fruit" drinks.
Many do not have more than 2% fruit in them!
Can you imagine what the other ingredients are?

11:47AM PDT on May 8, 2010

I drink pop, but stick to diet pop. I usually have only one soda a day.

6:25AM PDT on May 8, 2010

Well said, Alison S. If we make the producers responsible then we don't have to take responsibility ourselves - cop out. Sending a petition to the soda manufacturers won't change a thing. What we need to do is inform everyone we know of the consequences of drinking soda and then leave them to make their own decisions. Enough already with the 'granny state' making our decisions for us. Has anyone wondered as I did when reading this - is there perhaps a link between those virtually free sodas that come with fast food combo meals and the occurrence of obesity that the study found?

11:29AM PDT on May 7, 2010

The companies should have to inform the consumers of the consequences of using there product. After that it is up to the consumer to make to right choice. I only drink soda in root beer floats.

8:35AM PDT on May 7, 2010

Sugar would actually be safer and less fatening than the neuro-toxic sweeteners they put in them. Not to say sugar is "good"--just safer than the artificial sweeteners.

10:10PM PDT on May 6, 2010

We did not drink soda as children except once or twice a summer when we would go to an A&W and have a root beer as a special treat. Thus, I did not give soda to my daughter and ,in fact, we never had it in the house. When she graduated from high school she had never had a tooth cavity. When she went out on her own she began to drink soda constantly, as her friends did. After a few years of that, her teeth began to break, no cavities, they would just crumble or break. So did the teeth of her friends.The dentist told me that it isn't just the sugar in soda that's so bad for you - it's also the phosphorus. It can rob your body of calcium.

3:09PM PDT on May 6, 2010

thanks for shareing

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