Obesity is becoming more and more of a hot-button issue these days, as measures to combat the growing problem have manifested in ways people are not pleased about — like New York City’s soda ban involving large-sized drinks.
Obesity and soda consumption seem to be continually linked both by government and researchers, and indeed, a soda habit can very, very easily add hundreds of unplanned calories to your day without even making you feel less hungry.
And many Americans, some who struggle with obesity, consume large amounts of high fructose corn syrup-laden soda as part of their daily diet, enabled by promotions that include a bucket sized Coke or Pepsi with value meals. So you may not be shocked to learn that this behavior is impacting the overall weights of Americans by a significant degree — but you also may be surprised to discover that the correlation between soda and obesity may not entirely be due to diet.
New research indicates that obesity may be triggered by soda drinking due to some interesting genetic factors, and up to 36 genes may be at play. Harvard researcher Lu Qi says:
“We found that high intake of sugary beverages amplifies the genetic risk in some people … If you are at a higher genetic risk for obesity, the more likely drinking soda makes those genes likely to be amplified.”
Qi says the new research makes a case for initiatives to ban soda, and he explains:
“Our data supports such a ban of sugar-sweetened beverages … In general, everybody should reduce their sugary beverages, but their obesity-causing effects appear to be stronger in certain people.”
Do you think that soda bans are supported by research, or should people make their own decisions about obesity risk?