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Take the Pledge



Dear Inside Track Readers,
I have a confession to make. I love soda.

I know, I know. You don’t have to lecture me on how unhealthy it is. But I’m also pledging that from here on out, I am significantly cutting back on drinking it.

Let me explain. Before I joined the team, I worked as a reporter at a Capitol Hill newspaper. I often clocked long hours and worked a lot of late nights. Sleep deprived, I found myself relying on caffeine for an extra energy boost — and diet soda (I won’t say my preferred brand) was my favorite drink of choice.

Some days, I would drink up to six cans of soda a day! I know, I know. 

I always knew my soda consumption was unhealthy, but didn’t really realize how bad it was until I joined the team. It really hit home this week with the release of Sugary Drink F.A.C.T.S., a report from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity that highlights just how bad these beverages are, especially for children and teens.

Not only are sugary drinks unhealthy — consuming just one 8-ounce sugary beverage a day increases a child’s odds of becoming obese by 60 percent, for example — companies aggressively market these products to kids and teens. Despite growing health concerns and pledges by companies to cut back on their marketing efforts, young people are seeing ads for these products more than ever.

Therefore, starting today, I’m pledging to Kick the Can and significantly reduce my diet soda consumption.

Even though diet soda isn’t full of the sugar that regular soda is, I know that it is still unhealthy and can increase my chances of becoming obese or developing health problems like Type 2 Diabetes, a condition my grandma suffered from. Healthier choices abound, including reliable old water, which can better quench my thirst.

Therefore, I pledge to Kick the Can so I can live a long and healthy life.