DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital staffers & DPS students are signing "Say No To Pop" pledge for November

DMC Sinai-Grace President likens pop to cigarettes

DETROIT (WXYZ) - All you soda-pop-aholics out there might cringe at the thought, but DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital wants you to ditch your favorite fizzy drink for a whole month.

"The evidence is overwhelming that soda pop causes significant harm to our bodies," said Dr. Reginald Eadie, President of DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital.

"I kind of liken it to cigarette smoking, for example," he added.

That will get your attention.

And it got the attention of his staff. 

They are signing a month long "Say No To Pop" pledge starting October 31.

The hospital is asking the community to join in.

"This isn't a war against soda pop companies," said Dr. Eadie.  "This is a war against the lack of knowledge the public has regarding the dangers of soda pop."

"Soda pop can lead to weight-control issues and obesity, which is a main contributor to the three leading causes of death in this country: heart disease, stroke and cancer," he explained.

Some of the statistics DMC Sinai-Grace released are alarming:

  • Soda pop is the number 1 source of added sugar and extra calories in the American diet
  • One 20-ounce bottle of regular pop can have 17-19 teaspoons of sugar and up to 290 calories.
  • An average adult who drinks a pop a day for a year can pack on 30 pounds
  • Adults who drink one or more sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages each day are 27% more likely to be overweight or obese.

And Dr. Eadie warns those who switch to diet pop thinking it's a better option are sadly mistaken.

He said the artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame that you can find in those diet drinks have been found to increase cravings.  That often leads to more weight gain.

Diane Wenniger is now turning to water.

"Cold turkey. It's going to be difficult," she laughed.

To get into the spirit of the challenge, hospital staffers are wearing Say No To Pop T-shirts, signing the pledge board, and drinking the cafeteria's fruit-infused water.

The hospital's cafeteria and gift shop are also selling bottled water at a discounted price.

If you'd like to learn more about the dangers of soda pop or read more information on the Say No To Pop campaign, click here to read Dr. Eadie's blog.

DPS STUDENTS ARE ON BOARD

Others in the community are signing the "Say No To Pop" pledge for November including Detroit Public Schools.

We caught up with students at Dr. Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine in Detroit's Midtown.

The school no longer even offers pop.  You'll find stacks of bottled water instead.

Why did they sign the pledge?

"Phosphoric acid in pop can rot your teeth and weaken your bones, and I love my teeth," explained sophomore Kayla Kennard.

For fellow sophomore Asiah White, the motivation was all about her skin.

"I hate acne on my face. My Mom was like, stop drinking pop. I was, like, okay."

That was last spring.  Now her skin is clear.

So, what do the teens drink instead?

"I drink a lot of orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, and water.  I drink mostly water all the time though," said sophomore Ayron Gillem.

MICHIGAN SOFT DRINK ASSOCIATION RESPONDS

After the "Say No To Pop" campaign was announced, 7 Action News received this statement from William Lobenherz, the President of the Michigan Soft Drink Association:

"While we applaud efforts to combat the complex problem of obesity, research proves that restricting or banning sugar-sweetened beverages will not reduce obesity, nor will it have a truly meaningful impact on obesity-related health conditions.

"There is a vast body of available science to support this. Moreover, singling out soda as a unique contributor to obesity is misleading and distracts from real and comprehensive solutions to address the challenge.

"It is important to remember that calories from all foods – not just sugar-sweetened beverages – contribute to obesity if not balanced with physical activity. In fact, according to an analysis of government data, all sugar-sweetened beverages contribute only 7 percent of calories in the average American diet, meaning 93 percent come from other sources.   It is a myth and absolutely incorrect to claim that sugar sweetened beverages are the number one food group contributing calories to the average child's diet.

"With respect to the overall American market, even with increased overall sales, our companies now deliver 21% fewer calories to the entire U.S. marketplace than 10 years ago, and the calories in the American diet from added sugars in soda are down 39% since 2000.

"From 1999 to 2010, sales of full-calorie soft drinks declined by 12.5 percent while obesity rates continued to rise. This data demonstrates why it's important for experts, like Dr. Eadie and his colleagues, to look at comprehensive solutions that will truly help curb obesity, rather than scapegoat one product or industry that has a strong record of being part of meaningful solutions."

You can learn more about the Michigan Soft Drink Association's take on beverages in schools and other soft drink

issues, click here.

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