A new UCLA study reveals that soft drinks play a role in obesity.
In the past, researchers have often said soft drinks probably cause obesity, but this new research establishes a solid link between the two.
"We drink soda like water," said Harold Goldstein of the Center for Public Health Advocacy. "But unlike water, soda serves up a whopping 17 teaspoons of sugar in every 20-ounce serving."
The study found that 10.7 million Californians consume one soft drink or sugary beverage a day. Broken down by age group that means 41 percent of children, 62 percent of teenagers and 24 percent of adults drink at least one sugar sweetened beverage each day.
Appalled by the findings, state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, was prompted to call for a hearing by the Select Committee on Obesity and Diabetes, the Ventura County Star reports.
"California can and should do more to educate parents," Padilla said in a press release. "I don't think that most parents truly appreciate the role soda pop has in causing weight gain."
The widespread study, conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, interviewed 42,000 Californians of all ages.