New Data: Sugary Drinks a Problem for Youth in King County

Sep 7, 2012 by

New Data: Sugary Drinks a Problem for Youth in King County

September 6, 2012 – Seattle, WA

A new report released today by Public Health – Seattle & King County, “Youth consumption of sugary drinks in King County” provided some clear data for King County showing that sugary drinks are a daily beverage choice for tens of thousands of King County youth.

According to the new “Youth consumption of sugary drinks in King County” Data Watch Report:

  • Two out of three King County middle and high school students report drinking sugary drinks, including sodas, sports drinks or other flavored sweetened drinks, at school.
  • Of those youth who drink sugary drinks at school, 43% bring them from home, 9% get them from friends, 29% buy them at school, and 20% obtain them in other ways.
  • Among high school students, daily consumption of at least one soda is highest among American Indian/Alaskan Native youth (40%), Hispanic/Latino youth (39%), Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander youth (38%) and African American youth (37%) versus 30% for white, non-Hispanic youth.

Sugary drink reduction is a priority of ours at the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition. Last Spring, we launched the Soda Free Sundays campaign – a community-wide challenge to take a break from sugary drinks. Currently, we are expanding our efforts to the organizational level, working with local institutions to create healthier beverage environments where we work, learn and play.

Our director, Vic Colman commented on the release of this new data for King County:

“This report demonstrates that sugary drink overconsumption continues to be a real problem in King County. We know that with action at the individual, organizational, and community-wide levels we can see real progress and make healthier beverage choices within reach for everyone.”

For the full report and press release, visit: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/news/2012/12090601.aspx

For a list of policy options for reducing sugary drink consumption, we recommend: http://www.kickthecan.info/soda-taxes-and-other-beverage-policies

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