Children aged 6–19 years consume significantly more ounces of soft drinks each day than milk or juice, a matter which has turned out to be of grave concern for the medical fraternity world wide.
A research conducted in the US has showed that teenage boys and girls are drinking twice as much soft drink as milk and a third of teenage boys drink at least three cans a day.
Consumption of milk, which is the principle source of calcium in the typical American diet, has significantly decreased, as soft drinks have become a favorite choice for children.
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have cautioned that children who are consuming ever-greater amounts of soft drinks are at an increased risk of obesity and dental disease.
"Sweetened drinks are the primary source of added sugar in the daily diet of children. Each 12-ounce serving of a carbonated, sweetened soft drink contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar," Renee Jenkins, MD, FAAP, AAP vice president, said.
"Not only should parents be discouraging their children from drinking soda, but also they can set a good example by choosing to drink healthier alternatives themselves", she added.
"When teeth come in frequent contact with sweetened soft drinks and other sugar-containing substances, the risk of tooth decay, which is the most common childhood disease, is increased as is the potential for erosion of tooth enamel".
"Kids and teens are more susceptible to decay from soft drinks because their tooth enamel is not fully developed", she explained.
Pediatricians and dentists have recommend that children should choose beverages that hydrate and contribute to good nutrition, such as fruit juice with no sweeteners, low-fat and non-fat white or flavoured milk, vegetable juice and water.