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A recent study suggests that soda and sugary drinks might be the primary factor behind childhood obesity. The research, conducted in over 100 countries, shows a significant association between soda consumption and teenage obesity. For every 10-percent rise in daily soft drink intake, there is a 3.7-percent increase in overweight and obese adolescents.

Consumption of carbonated drinks increases risk of obesity

The study reveals a significant link between regular consumption of carbonated drinks and weight gain in teenagers. Pacific Island nation, Niue, had the highest number of overweight and obese teenagers and the most significant proportion of teens drinking at least one soda daily.

The research team from Japan highlights the significance of global efforts to decrease soda consumption in combating childhood obesity, referred to as a “pandemic.”

A study conducted in 107 countries examined the connection between sugary drink consumption and adolescent obesity using school surveys. Some countries implemented taxes on sugary beverages, while others did not.

A survey involving 405,528 school-going adolescents asked about their consumption of soft drinks, which were defined as carbonated beverages containing sugar. The survey also inquired about their daily intake of fruits and vegetables. The data was analyzed along with BMI figures to identify overweight and obese teens. The percentage of overweight and obese students varied significantly across countries, with rates ranging from 3.3% in Cambodia to 64% in Niue, a country with a population of under 2,000.

Soft drink consumption among adolescents varies

Interestingly the study on soft drink consumption among adolescents revealed significant variations in different countries. however the research found a consistent trend globally, where a 10-percent increase in daily soft drink consumption correlated with a 3.7-percent rise in overweight and obese teens. Additionally, the study suggested that implementing taxes on soft drinks could effectively reduce their consumption among adolescents.

The study led by Dr. Huan Hu from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Japan is the first to explore the link between soft drink consumption and overweight/obesity in school-going adolescents, considering both country and individual levels.