Obesity becoming a larger issue

April 17, 2015 Editorials Print Print
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Katie Axtell

Every day when I come into the college, I always see at least five individuals with the 44- to 64-ounce Big Gulp soda. Every day I see more and more reasons why we need to limit the amount of sugar-filled drinks that are consumed on a daily basis.

One-third of America is obese, according to cdc.gov. I’m not talking about an extra layer of warmth for the chilly nights. Obesity is a health hazard. It can kill you. Of course there are many other things that can kill, but obesity can be controlled, and it starts with filling up the cup of death.

Those killer cups of liquid sugar are adding more numbers to the obesity rates, but hsph.harvard.edu has research posted on the effects just one can of soda a day can have. Those risks include a 26 percent chance increase of type 2 diabetes, 20 percent higher chance of a heart attack or dying from a heart attack, and a 75 percent increase in gout.

All those diseases and health risks are from one 12-ounce can of soda a day. Think of how those chances increase with 44 to 64 ounces of soda per day.

I know this is Oklahoma, and we love our sweet tea, but the amount of sugar in fast food and convenience store tea is astonishing.

The increase of health hazards also increases medical expenses. Those Big Gulps can turn out to be some expensive drinks.

What’s worse than putting yourself at risk is the example being set for your children.

Before I come into work in the morning, I walk my son to his class. For the short amount of time I am at his school, I see way too many children who are clearly overweight.

The CDC also stated that obesity rates in children have more than doubled — and more than quadrupled for adolescents — in the past 30 years.

We are setting up our children for failure in life and health by continuing the soda apocalypse.

Instead of pushing the sticky button to top off with the fizzy, unhealthy goodness, reach for a bottle of water or a no-sugar-added juice.

The occasional carbonated comfort is acceptable, but not every day. There is no health benefit from soda. There is no need for it. There is coffee for the morning caffeine fix.

For those who are not fans of coffee, there are many other ways to find that kick of energy in the morning. You just have to want to be better than the gulp of gloom.

I care for my life. I care for my health. I care for my son’s life and health.

Find someone you care about and help them — and yourself — by making a change that can save lives. Say no to the Big Gulp.

To contact Katie Axtell, email communitywriter@occc.edu

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