WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg and two of his colleagues today called on the U.S. Surgeon General to investigate the possible link between sugary beverages and obesity in the United States. The Senators also want the Surgeon General to analyze how policies regarding sugary beverages could help to curb the obesity epidemic across the country.
“As America’s waistline has expanded, so too has our access to sugary drinks,” wrote Lautenberg (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “Doctors and public health experts recommend limiting and reducing the consumption of sugary drinks, especially in children, but kids and adults drink twice the amount of soda that they did three decades ago.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90 million people in the United States are overweight or obese, and obesity kills more than 110,000 Americans every year. The childhood obesity rate in the United States, where nearly one-third of American children are overweight or obese, is one of the highest in the world. Between 1973 and 2008, the rate of children who are overweight or obese in the United States more than doubled, from 15 percent to nearly 32 percent.
Today’s letter follows-up on Lautenberg’s previous effort to have the federal government investigate the impact of sugary beverages on Americans’ health and obesity. Lautenberg filed an amendment to the Farm Bill requiring a study, but it was not included in the bill approved in the Senate earlier this summer.