Obesity and obesity-related diseases are serious and complex challenges to public health. But it can be just as challenging trying to get helpful information on the topic.
Nowadays it is often difficult to get accurate information when you have to sift through so many misleading and uninformed arguments on the internet. Among the most widespread falsehoods out there is that sugar-sweetened beverages are causing obesity.
A recent article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press points out that data from the CDC shows that obesity rates have increased significantly in the past 20 years. Government data also shows that soft drinks are not the cause of this.
Calorie data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the average American diet has increased by about 500 calories since 1970. Nearly all of those additional calories over the years have come from eating more foods with fats and grains, not sugar.
In fact, the average amount of calories we get from added sugar has been going down steadily for 16 years by almost 70 calories and yet so many are quick to place blame for obesity on beverages.
It is illogical to single out soft drinks for the rise in obesity when soda consumption has been going down at the same time obesity is going up. Blaming soda will only divert us from real solutions that look at the problem honestly. With this complex challenge, it is important to get the facts before pointing fingers.