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Teen soft drink consumption often misstated

The media has done a good job of covering one of the major public health challenges facing the nation the growing rate of obesity. However, various news reports use a wide variety of numbers to describe teenage soft drink consumption. The faculty of the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy of Virginia TechAlexandria, led by Acting Director and Research Associate Professor Maureen Storey, Ph.D., has done extensive analyses of the U.S. governments dietary surveys including Department of Agricultures (USDA) Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals and the National Center for Health Statistics National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. These data show that soft drink consumption by teens is often far less than is reported.

The USDA data show that adolescent girls (12-19 years of age), consume an average of about one 12-ounce serving of carbonated soft drinks a day. Adolescent boys consume an average of 1.6 12-ounce servings of carbonated soft drinks a day.

The relationship between food and beverage consumption, physical inactivity and obesity is complex. Great discipline will be needed to address this tough issue with solutions that will truly work. Exaggeration of the issues misinforms and debases the public policy process that is supposed to fix societal problems as efficiently and effectively as possible, said Storey.


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Contact: Jeff Nedelman
jeff.nedelman@verizon.net
703-938-6011
Strategic Communications
27-Aug-2002


Page: 1

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