BATLIMORE (WJZ) — A new report from the CDC shows children are still consuming way too many sugary drinks, which is leading to major health problems down the road.
The report found almost two-thirds of children still drink at least one sugary drink every single day, despite warnings and public service announcements about how these drinks can be harmful to your health.
The CDC study found that in 1999, kids drank 223 calories in sugary beverages a day.
In 2009, that number fell to 155, but recently, it’s only gone down to 143.
“Soda, Gatorade, sweetened teas, sweetened juices,” Shawn McIntosh, with Sugar Free Kids Maryland, says it all adds up. “There’s way more sugar in some things than you would ever realize.”
Howard County, which launched a major campaign against sugary drinks three years ago, saw sales plummet by about 20 percent.
WJZ’s Meghan McCorkell found that a 16 ounce can of soda has more sugar in it than three Twinkies, while a “Big Gulp” has more sugar than an entire bag of powdered donuts.
McIntosh says one of the problems is some don’t have access to healthier drinks.
“If you go into a corner store right now and look for healthy beverage options, it’s very difficult to find them,” said McIntosh.
Some cities have enacted a soda tax, which has dropped the consumption rate, but the American Beverage Association has fought hard against a soda tax, calling it unconstitutional.
“A child who gets type 2 diabetes at the age of 10, is an adult who will have complications like kidney failure and amputation at the age of 35,” McIntosh said.
They say those health risks could, and should be prevented.