(CNN/Gray News) – Sugary drinks are on the hit list for two physician groups that want to limit their access to children and teens.
In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association are asking lawmakers for new policies to help stop kids from drinking so much soda, sports drinks, and juice.
“Just like we did with tobacco, changes are needed to reduce advertising these products to children,” the AAP tweeted.
Many doctors are diagnosing Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and high cholesterol in young patients, said Dr. Natalie Muth, a practicing pediatrician and registered dietitian.
“We have tried and failed to curb sugary drink intake through education and individual choices alone,” she said. “Just like policy changes were necessary and effective in reducing consumption of tobacco and alcohol, we need policy changes that will help reduce sugary drink consumption in children and adolescents.”
Not only do they want a tax, they are asking for federal nutrition assistance programs, better labeling and changes to children’s menus.
The policy statement comes just a week after a Harvard study that found drinking two or more sugary drinks a day may raise a person’s risk of early death by 21 percent.
Researchers found a particularly strong link between sugary beverages and heart disease.
The American Beverage Association said there’s no need for the proposed changes, arguing children are already drinking less soda these days.
It also said sugary drinks are not primarily responsible for the high obesity rates, and parents need to be the ones to decide what’s best for their children.