One of the most important statistics, I believe, related to the obesity epidemic, is this one:
Teen boys are drinking three times as much soda as they did 30 years ago, and teen girls are drinking more than double. I hope parents will avoid soft drinks, because of two critical factors they may not be aware of:
First, almost half of peak bone mass develops during adolescence. This is critical to development, because by our 30′s, bone is broken down faster than it is rebuilt, making that period of childhood and adolescence very important.
Second, soft drinks are very high in phosphorus, linked by many studies to robbing the bones of calcium. Kids who drink sodas are four times as likely to break bones as those who don’t drink sodas.
Dr. James Beaty is president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He says, “There’s some early data showing that even a 10 percent deficit in your bone mass when you finish your adolescent years can increase your potential risk of having osteoporosis and fractures as much as 50 percent.”
The first goal of my 12 Steps to a Whole Foods Lifestyle is to get the family to avoid soft drinks and start drinking green smoothies. That way, you stop robbing your body of critical bone-building minerals, and start giving your body what it desperately needs in childhood and beyond.