As part of its previously announced ten-point plan to help reduce obesity, the British grocery chain Tesco made headlines this week with a controversial announcement that it will ban sugar-sweetened, child-targeted beverages such as Capri Sun from its stores.
The company will be replacing these beverages with artificially-sweetened drinks, which I’d argue isn’t a perfect solution. (I shared my concerns about artificial sweeteners and kids in this 2013 post.) Still, Tesco is to be applauded for its overall commitment to improving consumer health, including a prior ban on the sale of chocolate and other sweets in its stores’ check-out lines.
In related news, a recent review of a variety of data sets has found that Americans are consuming fewer calories
than ever before since an all time high in 2008*, and, according to researchers, that decrease is largely attributable to a drop in sugary drink consumption. That’s great news, given the ever-more-certain link between the consumption of such drinks and disease. It was also heartening to learn that the greatest decrease in calories has been seen in families with children. But, unfortunately, we Americans are still eating far too few fruits and vegetables and far too much dessert. (More here from the New York Times. Also check out the Times‘ companion piece on Americans’ shifting attitudes toward obesity in general.)
Finally, be sure to check out this new post from Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition on everything that’s wrong with marketing sugary beverages (and other junk food) to kids. It’s a short but powerful indictment of this practice.
[*Ed. Update 7/29/15 at 1pm CST: Oh dear. Re-read this post and spotted a big inaccuracy! Fixed.]
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