Advising parents that cutting soda consumption belongs on the list of “Ways to fat-proof your kids” (Oct. 22) may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not a position supported by any reputable science.
The supposed link between soda and obesity is snowballing into the stuff of urban legend. The most frequently cited source for this claim is a 2001 Harvard study published in The Lancet. About this, the Centers for Disease Control has written: “There are no data from the Harvard study that allow us to make an estimate of what proportion of obesity might be accounted for by changes in soft drink consumption.”
Even the study’s author, David Ludwig, concluded that “there is no clear evidence that consumption of sugar [in soda pop] causes obesity.”
A link between soda pop and overweight kids may seem intuitive and obvious, especially when heavily promoted by self-anointed “public interest” activists. Intuition, however, is no substitute for hard science.