The Letters to the Editor by French and Story and by Moore et al. give us the opportunity to say that we agree completely with their concern about the connection between soft drink consumption and the burgeoning epidemic of obesity. By way of self-exculpation, our original silence on this topic was because we had been invited to respond editorially to an observational study reporting an inverse association between modest carbonated beverage intake and heel bone density.(1) Our point was then, and remains now, that any harm to the skeletal economy associated with carbonated beverages in adults is because of the fact that they displace nutritious beverages. This displacement effect is a part of the argument of both letters with regard to total health, not just bone health, and one with which we are in full accord.

In a Reply to an earlier Letter to the Editor discussing our editorial,(2) we called attention precisely to the point that both Letters to the Editor make, namely the connection to obesity. In this regard, it may also be worth calling attention to the recently published policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics,(3) calling for the abolition of carbonated beverages in schools and noting that each 12-oz serving contains the equivalent of 10 tsp of sugar. While “a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down,” 10 are clearly too many.


  1. Top of page
  2. References
  • 1
    McGartland C, Robson PJ, Murray L, Cran G, Savage MJ, Watkins D, Rooney M, Boreham C 2003 Carbonated soft drink consumption and bone mineral density in adolescence: The Northern Ireland Young Hearts Project. J Bone Miner Res 18:14631569.
  • 2
    Heaney RP, Fitzpatrick L 2004 The soda debate fizzes on. J Bone Miner Res 19:522.
  • 3
    American Academy of Pediatrics 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on soft drinks in schools. Pediatrics 113:152154.