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Doctors call for tax on sugary drinks to fight youth obesity

March 25, 2019 - 10:01 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- It was a hot topic during the Bloomberg era in New York, and now health experts are weighing in on soda and other drinks containing a lot of sugar.

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The American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics are out with new guidelines that recommend policy changes to cut back the intake of sugary drinks by kids.

"I talk with my patients and their families all the time about the health harms of sugary drinks and the advantage of drinking primarily water and milk. But still, sugary drinks are a mainstay in many children's diets. They are inexpensive, easy to find, heavily marketed, and taste sweet, so children like them," said Dr. Natalie Muth.

Muth was the lead author of a policy statement in the journal Pediatrics, that ties sugary drink intake to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and death. Health officials found  young people consume 17 percent of their calories from added sugars -- almost twice the amount recommended.

"At the same time, pediatricians are diagnosing type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and high cholesterol in our young patients. These are health problems that we rarely saw in children in the past. These are health problems associated with high sugar intake," Muth said.

New policies would have taxes put on high sugar drinks to cut down on their consumption.

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