Study links school access to soda to obesity risk

Vancouver, British Columbia – Sugary drinks may be the biggest factor in adolescent obesity, with access at schools contributing to higher consumption, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.

Researchers used data on 11,385 students from the 2008 British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey to examine the link between sugary drink consumption, school environment and weight. Availability of sugary drinks was associated with a higher risk of obesity, even more than the availability of junk foods such as chips, french fries and candy.

Noting that the study results add to the body of research linking sugary drinks to obesity, researchers suggested schools encourage healthy eating by stopping the sale of sugary drinks.