Half of SLO County youth consume sugary drinks daily
October 18, 2013
Half of San Luis Obispo County youth drink one or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day, according to a UCLA study.
Statewide, 41 percent of youth between the ages of 2 and 17 drink at least one sweetened beverage a day. But, 50 percent of San Luis Obispo County residents between the ages of 2 and 17 consume one or more sugary drinks each day.
San Luis Obispo County youth have the 10th highest consumption rate of sweet drinks in California. King County has the highest rate at 60 percent, while San Francisco has the lowest at 21 percent.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research study charted the soda and other sugary drink consumption habits of youth in the years 2011 and 2012. A prior study analyzed consumption patters between 2005 and 2007.
Since the first study, sweetened drink consumption by San Luis Obispo County youth increased, while statewide soda drinking decreased.
In 2005-2007, 46 percent of children and teens in the county drank sugary beverages. The statewide average was also 46 percent in 2005-2007, but it decreased to 41 percent in 2011-2012.
Researchers interviewed more than 40,000 California households for the 2011-2012 study. They found that sugary drink consumption decreased among children ages 2-11 and increased among adolescents ages 12-17.
“Soda and other sugary drinks contribute half a billion empty calories a day to California’s costly childhood obesity crisis,” said Dr. Robert Ross, CEO of The California Endowment, which funded the study. “We have to redouble our efforts to protect our children, especially adolescents and children of color from the unbridled marketing of high calorie drinks that is drowning our kids in sugar.”