Press Release

Why Soda Bans Don’t Fight Childhood Obesity

Washington, DC – Yesterday, two widely publicized studies claimed to show the detrimental effect of soda consumption on American children. But a new report from the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom debunks studies like these and dismantles the myths associated with the soda-obesity debate. The report, “Why Soda Bans Don’t Fight Childhood Obesity,” clarifies the record on soda’s non-existent impact on kids’ weight and alerts the public to the source of the misguided push to remove vending machines from schools.

Center for Consumer Freedom research analyst J. Justin Wilson said, “The same small group of trial lawyers and activists that sued restaurants, dairy companies, and the snack-food industry are behind this attack on soda. These entrepreneurial trial lawyers and their ‘food police’ allies are on a quest to shake down another industry with deep pockets. And, as usual, they are completely ignoring inconvenient science that proves them wrong.”

Citing a wide array of peer-reviewed health, exercise, and nutrition research, the Center’s report disputes the widely held notion that soda is a cause of obesity and instead shows that physical inactivity is the single largest contributor to obesity among children.

While the amount of calories kids eat and drink hasn’t appreciably changed in decades, physical activity rates have plummeted. In fact, only one U.S. state requires daily physical education classes school-wide. A 2005 study published in the British medical journal The Lancet showed just how damaging this lack of activity is. The authors found that among adolescent girls, “the drastic decline in habitual activity during adolescence might be a major factor in the doubling of the rate of obesity…in the past two decades, since no concomitant increase in energy intake was apparent.”

Wilson added, “Removing soda vending machines from schools to ‘cure’ childhood obesity is like filling your gas tank to fix a flat tire. It is a feel-good distraction that does nothing to address the real problem affecting our children—an epidemic of inactivity.”

To download a PDF of “Why Soda Bans Don’t Fight Childhood Obesity,” or to arrange an interview, please visit or call Andrew Porter at (202) 463-7112.

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


More on “Soft Drinks”

Featured image for post

Soda Taxes (Still) Don’t Work

Posted November 14, 2019 at 8:28 am
Featured image for post

Soda Taxes Fizzle Out in Washington State

Posted November 9, 2018 at 9:56 am
Featured image for post

Small Victory for Soda Lovers in California

Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:05 am