American’s consumed 9.4 billion cases of soft drinks in 2009; that’s roughly 60 gallons per person annually. Mayor Bloomberg has drawn a line on consumption by pushing hard to limit the largest size sodas in New York restaurants to 16 ounces and a recent study showed sodas are linked to heart attacks. Now the American Cancer Society (ACS) is getting into the ring and making the stakes of unhealthy sugary drinks even higher. The ACS believes that the health risks of soda consumption should be viewed by US health officials in the same way that they viewed the health risks of using tobacco in the 1960s.
To make their point, the nonprofit arm of the ACS wrote a requesting a federal study to make the point and serve as a landmark on this topic – just like the comparable study in 1964 by the Surgeon General make the point about tobacco.
Christopher W. Hansen, President of the ACS Cancer Action Network wrote, “An unbiased and comprehensive report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages could have a major impact on the public’s consciousness. We know there is a direct link between excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity, and the adverse health effect can be profound.”
We have a serious problem in this country with obesity. According to the Get America Fit Foundation,
obesity is considered the United States’ leading public health crisis and the No. 2 cause of preventable death. Mr. Hansen’s intent on writing to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, was to highlight a possible link between obesity and cancer. This seems a logical suggestion because the ACS’s cancer-prevention guidelines state, “Consuming a healthy diet can substantially reduce one’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer.”
Some headway is being made in creating awareness of soda’s link to obesity and even the soda companies are looking for ways to address this issue by creating other beverages that are less sugary. Also, even if there were no sodas, America’s obesity problem would not evaporate; we have to address exercise and nutrition in general as well as make healthy foods available to all our citizens. But cutting out sodas or at least reducing the amount we consume each year in this country would make it easier for many to drop some of those unwanted pounds, and lower their risk of heart disease and cancer.
To underscore the point, below is a HealthRock music video called Liquid Candy.
To hear other health songs on obesity and exercise from Let’s Move, the 2011 CD of the Year from Creative Child, click here.
About: Mache Seibel MD:
Machelle (Mache) Seibel, MD is one of America’s top health communicators. Whether speaking, consulting, writing or composing he teaches people the health information they need and the perspective they require to stay well. His passion is to help America stay well. “It’s better to stay well than to get well.” Professor and Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-Present Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with music and entertainment Harvard Medical School faculty nearly two decades Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere) 2008 Recipient, Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor Multiple national awards for research, writing, music and patient education received Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles, past editor-in-chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America Hosted PBS and NYC TV episodes, frequent media expert http://www.doctorseibel.com/
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