(04/09/2005)
Reports say West Virginia has the fattest children in America, let alone some of the fattest adults.

Members of the West Virginia Legislature's House and Human Resource Committee just raised the sugar content from 10 to 15 grams in "healthy drinks" for the state's school kids, succumbing to a rotunda-full of soft drink lobbyists.

How bad is it?

The soft drink companies say citizens of Calhoun County are one of their biggest customers. A representative of a company said "We sell more pop in Grantsville's Foodland than any store to which we deliver."

Beverage companies say it is not their problem that people drink the stuff to excess. It is a choice problem.

The companies say thy employ thousands of West Virginians, and the increase in childhood and adult obesity today is a problem caused by many other factors.

Soft drink contracts at schools often provide funds to support athletic and other events.

WV pediatricians say such maneuvering will help maintain the state's "pre-eminent position in the annals of obesity."

The health problems related to the drinking of sugar water is enormous.


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