About one in four teens in the U.S. drink soda every day, according to a new study of high-schoolers released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even though water, milk and 100-percent fruit juice reigned supreme in the study, 24.3 percent of high school students said they drink a serving (a can, bottle or glass) of soda every day.
Government researchers, who looked at over 11,000 high-schoolers, also found that 16 percent of students drink a serving of a sports drink every day.
Boys were more likely than girls to report drinking soda every day, and African American teens more likely than white or Hispanic teens.
Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and sports drinks can lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, researchers note. From the report:
Additional strategies are needed to reduce [sugar-sweetened beverage] consumption, especially among male and black students. Although changing school policy is an important first step, most calories from these drinks are consumed in the home. It is critical, therefore, to involve families, the media, and other institutions that interact with adolescents to increase their awareness of possible detrimental health effects and discourage their consumption of [sugar-sweetened beverages].
Why is it important to learn how much soda teens are drinking? There have been a multitude of studies on the link between soda and obesity. One recent study, published in the journal Appetite, showed that drinking two sugary drinks a day can dull taste buds to make them less sensitive to sweet tastes, which can then spur people to need to have even sweeter, higher-calorie snacks and drinks to be satiated. And a 2009 study from the University of California, Los Angeles showed that adult soda-drinkers (one or more sodas a day) have a 27 percent higher risk of being overweight than non-soda drinkers.