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Health Groups, Scientists Call on Surgeon General to Issue Report on Sugary Drinks

by Sandy Todd Webster on Sep 27, 2012

More than 100 health organizations and a dozen scientists signed a joint letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, MPA, and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, in late July requesting a definitive report on sugary drinks. The coalition likened such a report to the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. This new report, states the coalition, would pave the way for policy measures at all levels of government and for widespread voluntary actions in the private sector to improve health and reduce healthcare costs. Coalition members also called for an accompanying Surgeon General’s Call to Action to reduce consumption of sugary drinks, which they believe could establish goals for federal, state and local governments, including federal food assistance programs, as well as for other public and private entities. Those who signed the letter wrote that they “are deeply concerned about the many harms resulting from the excessive consumption of sugary drinks, particularly among young people. Soda and other sugary drinks are the only food or beverage that has been directly linked to obesity, a major contributor to coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, and a cause of psychosocial problems.” The letter emphasized the following statistics:
  • One study found that each extra soft drink consumed per day was associated with a 60% increased risk of overweight in children.
  • Research shows that 46% of 2- and 3-year olds consume sugary drinks each day.
  • Type 2 diabetes, which used to occur primarily in middle-aged and older adults, is now becoming more common among teens, especially those in low-income and minority groups.
  • Obesity has become a national security issue. Twenty-seven percent of America’s youth are ineligible for military service because they are overweight.
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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.