Sunday, July 31, 2011

44.7 Gallons of Soda

That's how much the average American drank last year, and this doesn't include non-carbonated sweetened beverages (another 17 gallons). Why so much? Because it's cheap. Worse? It's getting comparatively cheaper:

See Mark Bittman for the NYT article that accompanies these images, who calls for actions similar to those I have discussed in the past in order to begin to tackle America's obesity epidemic (this month the CDC reported that 33.8% of Americans are now obese).

I should also mention a recent UCLA study whose authors calculated an interesting index to measure local food quality, dubbed The Home and School Retail Food Environment Index (HSRFEI). The index assesses the density of food outlets less likely to carry healthy foods (fast food, liquor stores, dollar stores, etc.) relative to those that would be more likely (grocery stores, warehouse stores, etc.) within given California radii of school and home. The study found that teens were 7.9 times more likely to have unhealthy food outlets nearby compared to healthy outlets, where nearly 75% of California teens live and go to school in less healthy food environments (HSRFEI of at least 5.0), while only 21% do so in healthier food environments (HSRFEI of less than 5.0).

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