Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NYC Health Department Continues Assault on Soda

Once again, the New York City Health Department is focusing on sodas as the cause of obesity and other health-issues in New York City. It claims that drinking a soda a day would cause someone to consume 50 pounds of sugar over the course of a year.
The health department says drinking one soda a day equals 50 pounds of sugar a year, which can lead to problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

“Sugary drinks are the largest single source of added sugar in the diet, and a child’s risk of obesity increases with every additional daily serving of a sugary drink,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley in a statement.

Cathy Nonas, director of the city’s physical activity and nutrition program, says that 50 pounds of extra sugar can be harmful to the body.

“When we’re looking at a city where there is an epidemic of overweight and obesity and we look at the diseases that are associated with obesity, even in young kids, 50 pounds of sugar a year, of added sugar to rest of the diet, is way too much,” Nonas told 1010 WINS.

That’s why the health department is launching a 30-second TV spot to talk about health issues associated with sugary drinks and to offer healthy alternatives.

A 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories.

That means 14,235 grams over the course of the year. Converting to pounds, that isn't 50 pounds. It's 31.382803 pounds. Just a wee bit of a difference. It's a huge difference and one that sorely undermines the argument being made against soda consumption.

However, if you're drinking a 20 ounce bottle of Cherry Coke, you would be consuming 70 grams of sugar per bottle, which results in 25,550 grams of sugar over the course of a year; that translates to 56+ pounds of sugar a year.

That discrepancy further shows the necessity of portion control and how size matters when you're talking about food.

But the problem still comes down to too little exercise and too much of a sedentary lifestyle. So the Health Department is fixated on soda when there is little else it can do. It isn't likely to go after steakhouses that offer up monster sized portions. At a time when nutrition experts suggest 4 ounce portions, restaurants frequently serve up portions several times that size. Heck, it's considered a value.

Ultimately, it's up to the individual to decide that it's better to pick a smaller sized food option - portion control and balanced meals are far better than the incessant drumbeat of soda being bad.

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