As a doctor, it used to be that I treated only adults with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. But now, I treat teenagers as young as 13 with these conditions. These kids grow up to be adults who will suffer and die from heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in our City. In Baltimore, one-in-three high school children are obese. It’s no coincidence that one-in-four school-aged children drink one or more soda per day. Public health leaders and doctors agree: sugary drinks are a major contributor to childhood obesity. Taking these empty calories out of children’s diets is the single biggest change parents can make.
Two years ago, I fought to protect our residents by supporting legislation in the Baltimore City Council that places warning labels on all sugary drink advertisements, restaurant menus, and stores that sell these drinks. The warning label included important facts about the dangers of sugary drinks and would have leveled the information playing field for consumers. Yet, despite the support of over 2,000 pediatricians, public health leaders, and advocates, the bill failed.
Subscribe to the Bmore Healthy newsletter.