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Congrats to San Francisco’s new ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors ensuring all kids menus will not longer include sugar-sweetened beverages.
This is a win for Latino kids, why?
Regular consumers of sugary beverages have a 26 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and research shows that about 74% of Latino kids have had a sugary drink by age 2.
Parents are still allowed to purchase a sugary beverage with their child’s meal in this new policy change, Supervisor Ken Yeager explained to Bay City News Service. However, Yeager went on to ask, “Why in the world you put something that is so poisonous on their plate?”
In fact, studies say that 71% percent of California’s children will experience tooth decay by third grade, resulting in 900,000 missed school days per year.
Of greater consequence, half of all Latino and African-American children will develop Type 2 diabetes during their lifetime, according to a Northern California study which shows that Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, and South Asians have the highest prevalence of diabetes among all groups.
The Bay City News Service also reported from a 2013 and 2014 survey of parents in the Santa Clara County that 1 in 7 kids between the ages of 2 and 12 had consumed a sugar-sweetened beverage the previous day, with higher rates among Hispanic children, Sara Cody, health officer and Public Health Director for the county explained to local reporters.
The American Heart Association recommends children consume less than six teaspoons of added sugar a day. A regular can of Coca-Cola at 12 ounces, a bit bigger than a kids meal drink, contains nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar and 140 calories.
Ensuring Latino kids drink less sugary beverages through policies that reduce sugary drink consumption in schools, restaurants, and community spaces may help reduce the increasing rates chronic disease and unhealthy weights, seen in many states across the nation. In fact, according to the same local news, over 70 % of the adult Latino population in the county are overweight or obese.
Another new policy to help decrease consumption of sugary drinks in the area was also voted on by the board and was adopted by the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System that no longer allows sales of sugary beverages in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Cafe, gift shop, and cafeteria.
All kids deserve to grow up a healthy weight and ensuring larger policy changes around reducing the consumption of sugary drinks may help in decreasing the chronic health risks associated with unhealthy weight among children.
To learn more about healthy policy recommendations for sugary beverages, click here.