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At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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California: Soda Dangerous To Your Health

sodamachine200WARNING: Soda Can Cause Obesity, Diabetes and Tooth Decay

If California lawmakers approve a bill introduced last week, soda and other beverages sweetened with added sugars would carry a health warning similar to the danger labels for cigarettes and alcohol.

"STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."

(Keep reading for recipes for refreshing alternatives to soda.)

The warning labels would appear on soda cans and bottles, self-serve soda dispensers, lunch counters, bars and restaurant menus starting July 1, 2015.

Recent studies have found a clear link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity. A soda-a-day ups diabetes risk by 18 to 25 percent and increases an adult’s likelihood of being overweight by 27 percent and a child’s by 55 percent, according to a World Health Organization study published last year in British Medical Journal.

Americans, on average, drink more than 45 gallons of sugary beverages a year, and soda consumption is particularly high among impoverished children of color because of marketing and food access in their communities, health activists say. Nearly half of African American and Latino children born after 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes.  

Diabetes isn't the only dangerous disease linked to sugar-sweetened beverages. Several recent studies have also connected sugary drinks to heart disease, cancer, obesity and tooth decay. (For Guys Only: 3 surprising reasons why guys should cut back on soda and take care their teeth.)

Last March, new research presented at an American Heart Association scientific session linked an alarming 180,000 deaths to sugar-sweetened drinks including 133,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 heart disease deaths and 6,000 cancer deaths. In the U.S., 25,000 deaths each year are associated with sugar-sweetened drinks.

Among California voter, 74 percent favor health warnings on soda, according to a recent poll that found broad, bipartisan support for the soft-drink danger labels.

Instead of sugar-sweetened soda, why not try these recipes for homemade sodas and sparklers sans sugar? Particularly refreshing: Pink Grapefruit – Pomegranate Pop!

Exactly how long does it take to burn off 136 calories in a 12-ounce soft drink? Experience for yourself when you visit Wellbody Academy's Cafedium where you can  ride the Sugarburners exercise bike and turn the hand-powered crank.

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Guest Saturday, 25 October 2014