For Kids, Sugary Drink Ban Should Start At Home, Experts Say
As City Hall continues to target high calorie sodas and a new school year approaching, parents may want to help enforce the ban and make sure their kids stop sneaking sugar-loaded drinks into their backpacks. NY1's Cheryl Wills field the following report.
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The first day of school is fast approaching and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's war on soda has not fizzled out. In fact, many nutritionists are urging parents to stop their kids from sneaking sugar loaded drinks in their backpacks this fall.
"There's a record number of kids that are obese and for the first time, your seeing kids 11 and 12 getting adult onset diabetes," points out Dr. Howard Shapiro, a weight loss specialist.
Dr. Shapiro says it's time for parents to take matters into their own hands because recent studies show 23 percent of American teenagers have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
After successfully stopping the sale of sugary drinks in public schools nine years ago, Bloomberg's latest proposed ban on sugary drinks targets 16 ounce cups or bottles extends to food establishments under the city's department of health and mental hygiene's jurisdiction. That includes fast food chains and movie theaters.
Some critics, though, say the mayor is going too far.
"The people who think he's going too far are afraid of the truth. Bloomberg is right on point," Shapiro says.
Dr. Shapiro is the author of "Eat and Beat Diabetes with Picture Perfect Weight Loss". He says its time for New Yorkers to take the issue seriously and consider the alternatives.
"You can get low calorie Gatorade, which is sweet and tastes good and it's healthy. You can have iced tea. Here's an iced tea that's zero calories, here's a Diet Snapple with 10 calories. You can even get Crystal Lite. So there's lots of drink you can get," Shapiro says.
Recent studies indicate the ban on sugary drinks of any size in New York City's public school system is having some impact. Since it went into effect in 2003, obesity rates among city students have dropped about five percent. But medical experts say there's still a long way to go.