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New study documents the detrimental impact of teen beverage choices

SAN DIEGO, April 3, 2005 To combat the escalating rates of childhood obesity, parents should go beyond what's on their children's plate and look at what's filling their glass, suggests a new study that was presented today at the Experimental Biology scientific conference. The study found that no other single food provides more calories to a teenager's diet than sodas and fruit drinks. In all, these sweet drinks provide about 13 percent of a teenager's total calories -- more than cakes, cookies and other sugary foods. Sodas and fruit drinks are also the single leading source of added sugars in a teen's diet, providing more than half of all added sugars they consume.

Researchers from the University of Vermont, University of British Columbia, and ENVIRON Health Sciences Institute studied the diets of more than 3,000 children and teenagers ages 2-18 using food consumption data from the government's recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that consumption of sodas and fruit drinks increases in a step-wise fashion as U.S children get older, while milk intake declines in a similar way suggesting that milk is being displaced by soft drinks and juice drinks. By the time a child enters adolescence, he or she is drinking about twice as many sugary sodas and fruit drinks as milk.

"Our study found that milk is a primary source of nutrients in a child's diet, but milk consumption steadily declines as children grow older, which may prevent older children and teenagers from consuming the nutrients they need for growth and development," said lead researcher Mary M. Murphy, MS, RD of ENVIRON Health Sciences Institute, who presented the findings today at the Experimental Biology scientific conference.

Milk is Primary Nutrient Source

Despite the decline in milk intake as children reach their teen years, milk remains the number one source of several key nutrients -- including calcium, phosphor
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Contact: Adena Miller
armiller@webershandwick.com
312-988-2295
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
3-Apr-2005


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