(CBS/AP) A new study says that an alarming number of teens continue to consume soda and other sugary soft drinks every day, despite the fact that such behavior may contribute to childhood obesity and diabetes.
A survey of 11,000 high school students found one in four teens drink soda every day. And when other sugary drinks like Gatorade are counted, the figure is closer to two-thirds of students drinking a sugary beverage daily.
The findings were published in the June 17 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The numbers are actually lower than previous estimates. Earlier research in the 1990s and early 2000s showed more than three-quarters of teens were drinking a sugary beverage each day. That means more teens are now drinking water, milk, and fruit juices.
"We were very pleased to see that," said the study's lead author, Nancy Bener, a health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But one-quarter of high school students is still too high of a number, because consumption of sugary drinks is considered a major public health problem. Soda consumption has been linked to the U.S. explosion in childhood obesity, where 17 percent of Americans age 2 to 19 are obese, according to the CDC.