SACRAMENTO, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Drinking high-calorie soft drinks is a major contributor to obesity, a California study reports.
"For the first time, we have strong scientific evidence that soda is one of the -- if not the largest -- contributors to the obesity epidemic," said Dr. Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
Researchers interviewed 42,000 California residents, The Sacramento Bee reported. They found 24 percent of adults drink at least one non-diet soft drink daily, and those who do are 27 percent more likely to be overweight.
Young people have even worse habits, the researchers found. Among those ages 12 to 17, 62 percent drink at least one soda a day, while 41 percent of those between the ages of 2 and 11 do.
The Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research published their findings Wednesday in the report "Bubbling Over: Soda Consumption and Its Link to Obesity in California."