The increasing problem of overweight and obesity in children has caused an increasing number of researchers to question the role of soft drinks in this major public health issue. While soft drinks are a significant calorie source in the average western diet, neither carbonated drinks nor any other single food or drink is solely responsible for the problem of overweight or obesity. Many complex factors contribute to obesity and overweight in children and adults, however the main factor is usually the over-consumption of calories combined with a lack of physical activity.
Parents concerned about overweight should encourage children to stay physically active, and ensure they eat a sensible and varied balanced diet. While the majority of children’s hydration should come from still and sparkling water, carbonated drinks can be enjoyed in moderation as they also provide the body with fluids. For children at higher risk for obesity, reducing excess, empty calories from food or beverages and emphasizing more nutritious foods and drinks will help maintain a healthier weight.
Preparing carbonated drinks at home, such as freshly-made SodaStream drinks, is a great way for parents to have greater control over the drinks their children consume, including the type and amount of syrup added, thereby reducing sugar intake. The wide variety of flavors, available at different calorie levels allows parents to make the choice that best suits their family’s tastes and needs – whether it is reduced sugar, diet or all natural syrups, or plain sparkling water.