Sugary drinks are a leading cause of obesity in San Mateo County
There is a direct link between sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and sports drinks, and obesity in San Mateo County. And this is not surprising given that in the U.S., $500 million is spent each year marketing carbonated drinks to children.
More than one-third of all sugars consumed each day are from sugar-sweetened beverages. Here in San Mateo County, 33% of children from age 2 through age 11 drink one or more sodas every day, 50% of youth ages 12-17 drink one or more sodas every day and 14% of adults drink one or more sodas every day.
That’s a lot of soda, given that recent research shows sugar-sweetened beverages to be one of the leading causes of weight gain.
In San Mateo County, 34% of children and more than 50% of adults are overweight or obese – and these numbers continue to rise. Being overweight or obese often leads to serious chronic diseases like diabetes. Did you know that one out of every three children born in 2000 is expected to develop Type 2 diabetes?
Obesity and the diseases that result from being obese lead to a poor quality of life, contribute to children missing class and doing poorly in school, and are estimated to cost San Mateo County more than half a million dollars each year.
Here's how you can help your community
Stop buying or limit the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks you buy
Encourage your child, or a child you care about, to participate in Soda Free Summer
Eliminate serving sugar-loaded drinks at parties or events
Encourage your workplace and school to replace sugar-loaded beverages in vending machines
Support your elected officials in passing a sugar sweetened beverage tax so that these sugary drinks are more expensive and less people buy them.
Read more about sugar-sweetened beverages in our Sip on This brief
Read more about "soda tax" efforts
The Health System has gotten social, too. Visit us at www.facebook.com/SMCHealth to join or start a conversation about sugary drinks.