You Can Blame Your Parents for Your Soda Addiction

According to a new study, children whose parents consume fizzy drinks are nearly three times more likely to drink them compared to other kids their age.

Sep 1 2016, 12:00pm

Photo via Flickr user Mike Mozart

They fuck you up, your mum and dad. All those torturous caravan holidays, "character building" walks home from school in the rain, and the matching bowl cuts—it's a wonder you made it to functional adulthood at all.

And now it seems you can blame your borderline Diet Coke addiction and penchant for sugary lemonade and icy cold, hangover-soothing cans of Fanta on your parents, too. A new study from children's nutrition advisor Emma Derbyshire claims that children are nearly three times as likely to drink fizzy drinks compared to other kids if their parents do.

READ MORE: Your Parents' Love Might Be Ruining Your Waistline and the Planet

Surveying 1,000 mums and dads, as well as their children, Derbyshire's Drink as I Do report found that four to eight-year-olds whose parents consumed fizzy drinks regularly were 192 percent more likely to drink them. Those whose parents drank fruit juice were 115 percent more likely to consume such drinks, and 529 percent more likely to have smoothies if their parents did.

The report, which is linked to the National Hydration Council, a not-for-profit organisation backed by bottled water producers, also found that 37 percent of children did not drink water on any given day. This figure fell to 13 percent for children whose parents drank water.

Commenting on the findings to the Guardian, Derbyshire said: "Clearly children emulate their parents. With water, children were only drinking about three cups a day when they should be drinking between five and eight glasses. They're under-consuming water in favour of calorific drinks. It's a concern given problems with obesity and tooth decay. The thing is [for parents] not just to tell children to drink water but to do it themselves and ideally be seen to enjoy it."

READ MORE: The Government Finally Released Its Childhood Obesity Strategy But People Aren't Happy

Noting that children pick up on the eating habits of their parents is nothing new, but the Drink as I Do report's focus on copycat drink consumption is timely. Recent figures show that fizzy drinks make up 29 percent of sugar intake for 11 to 18-year-olds in Britain, a stat which prompted the Government to include plans for a "sugar tax" on such drinks in its long awaited obesity strategy last month.

That childhood taste for 7UP could be about to get a lot more expensive.