Friday, June 6, 2008

Soda Consumption Fuels Obesity

“Health advocates hope 400,000 Bay Area residents will commit to enjoying this summer sipping fewer sodas, or none at all. On Wednesday, public health leaders from six Bay Area counties gathered in Oakland to launch the area's first ‘Soda Free Summer’ campaign. Alameda County ran a successful ’Soda Free Summer’ pilot project last year, in which 42 percent of the participants polled reported reducing their soda consumption during the summer campaign, with half of those giving it up altogether. Impressed with the results, health officials from Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Marin counties organized to launch a region-wide initiative this year. ‘There was great enthusiasm from everyone for taking it Bay Area-wide,’ said Dr. Armor Santiago, chairman of the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative, a coalition of more than 80 public and private organizations that promotes sound nutrition and physical activity, particularly in low-income communities. The Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley, states that sugared beverage consumption has increased 500 percent over the past five decades — at a rate that roughly corresponds with the increase in overweight children.”

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