Rising rates of obesity, especially pediatric obesity, present the nation with a serious health challenge, according to the National Soft Drink Association. In many instances, the facts challenge common misperceptions:

  • Two-thirds of respondents in a Gallop Poll feel the fast food industry is not at all responsible for the health problems faced by obese people in this country.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 Americans oppose holding the fast-food industry legally responsible for diet-related health problems of people who eat that such food on a regular basis.
  • A study of more than 4,000 schoolchildren published in the August issue of Health Psychology found that children slipped into generally unhealthful dietary practices as their lives grew more stressful.
  • A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded "that restrictive feeding practices increase children's preferences for restricted foods...and promotes overeating when restricted foods are freely available."
  • According to an article in Family Economics and Nutrition Review, a team of nutrition researchers at Michigan State University found that from 1987-1998, milk consumption has remained constant for children ages 1-19, while soft drink consumption has declined among children age 1-5 and girls age 15-19.
  • According to a study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, while young boys and girls of all ethnic backgrounds drink more milk than any other beverage, African-American children drink less milk than white or Hispanic children. Additionally, the study found no link between soda consumption and obesity.
  • A recent study from the Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging demonstrated that a well-educated, health-conscious population has shown only a modest increase in leisure-time physical activity over the past four decades despite public recommendations to promote physical activity.
  • A study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, says overweight children are approximately six times more likely than their non-overweight counterparts to have at least one obese parent.

National Soft Drink Association