Beverages with added sugar, such as soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, are the largest source of added sugar in the diets of both children and adults in the U.S. Consuming beverages that have added caloric sweeteners (e.g., sucrose or high fructose corn syrup) is associated with overweight and obesity, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver disease, and dental decay, as well as with decreased consumption of more nutritious foods such as milk, fruits, and vegetables. In California, nearly one in three children ages 2-11 (31 percent) consumed one or more sugary beverages per day in 2013-14. This percentage is higher than the percentages of children who consumed sugary beverages every day in 2009 or in 2011-12. Between 2003 and 2009, the proportion of children consuming at least one sugary drink per day decreased from 49 percent to 26 percent (Exhibit 1). However, since 2009, this number has increased to 31 percent. Although consumption levels are still not as high as they were in 2003, this trend is troubling because it suggests that the reductions in consumption observed among children may be reversing.
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