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STUDY: Preschool children who regularly have sugary drinks tend to pack on more pounds than other youngsters.

DETAILS: Journal Pediatrics

Researchers found that among the 2- to 5-year-olds they followed, those who routinely had sugar-sweetened drinks at age 5 were 43% more likely to be obese than their peers who rarely had those drinks.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the diet of U.S. youth.

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

Obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008.

Among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years, obesity increased from 5.0% to 18.1%

What Can You Do

Plenty of factors influence childhood obesity, including genes, overall diet and physical activity.

Although the study cannot prove it’s the beverages causing the added weight, experts said parents should opt for water and milk to quench preschoolers’ thirst.

U.S. kids would slash 235 daily calories from their diets if they swapped sugary drinks or 100 percent fruit juice for water.

Kids should

· Reduce their consumption of regular soda or pop, sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

· Increase their consumption of water and low-fat or fat-free milk.

· Drink limited amounts of 100% fruit juices.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/healthybeverages/, Pediatrics Journal

Author: TxNaturalPediatrics

By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives. In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.

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