Are you thinking about reaching for your second or third sugar-sweetened beverage of the day? If so, you might want to think again.
One 12-ounce can of soda has as much sugar as two candy bars – or about nine teaspoons of sugar. And this added sugar can add up over time. In fact, drinking one soda a day can equal an extra 25 pounds of weight per year.
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages & Obesity
While obesity is a complex problem, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) – with their highly concentrated levels of sugar and “empty” calories – are contributing to our country’s rising obesity epidemic.
Many of the SSB-related statistics speak for themselves:
This certainly doesn’t mean that we have to forgo the occasional soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage. As the saying goes, everything in moderation. However, it is important that we address the contribution of SSBs to rising obesity rates and ensure we create environments that are conducive to healthy eating and drinking.
New Report on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
As part of its efforts to help address Colorado’s obesity epidemic, our partners at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) developed and just released the following report: Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB): National Trends and Policies.
This report provides an overview of evolving trends, laws, policies and educational efforts across the nation to inform and spur conversation among public health professionals, policymakers, CDPHE partners and Coloradans concerned with healthy eating and active living.
On the local level, the report highlights what local health departments, hospitals, schools and others within Colorado are doing to reduce consumption of SSBs.
The Role of Hospitals
As institutions that play an important role in public health and improving the lives of others, it makes sense that hospitals across Colorado are taking charge to ensure their patients, employees and visitors have access to healthy food and beverage options. The report highlights several hospitals, including Poudre Valley Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, that are making significant strides on this front:
Likewise, our partner Kaiser Permanente (KP) is playing an important leadership role in helping its patients reduce their SSB consumption with initiatives such as the following:
You can read CDPHE’s report to gain a better understanding of the efforts underway – across the nation and within Colorado – to address this important issue.